Emergency Care


Orthodontic Emergencies

Sometimes, your braces, Invisalign, or other orthodontic appliances may experience some issues that need to be corrected by our orthodontist. No matter the cause, every complication will need to be dealt with properly and in a timely manner; that’s where we come in!

Never be afraid to let us know if you’re experiencing something you think is abnormal. Any level of discomfort past the initial adjustment period at the beginning of your treatment deserves attention, and we’ll always take your concerns seriously. True orthodontic emergencies are rare, and most of what we deal with is not severe. Here is a list of common orthodontic issues patients have faced in the past, what the signs are, and the usual routes we take to get patients back on track, comfortable, and smiling!

General Soreness
Some soreness is to be expected during treatment, especially in the early stages. When this discomfort is present in the mouth and jaw, they’re almost impossible to ignore.

Everyone will have different methods that work better for them, and our orthodontist will be able to recommend strategies and let you try them until we figure out the best option for your pain management.

When your braces have been newly placed, the brackets you’ll feel in your mouth will be foreign and new. If some are sticking out at odd angles or are simply bothersome, our orthodontist will provide you with some wax you can place on the protrusions. This wax will prevent them from rubbing the inside of your mouth and potentially causing pain and discomfort. It will likely only need to be used for the first week or two of braces. After this short period of time, you’ll have gone through much of the required adjustment period and will be far more used to wearing your new braces.

Remember to be kind to your mouth and jaw during this time, and stick to softer foods. Mashed potatoes, soft breads, steamed vegetables, and smoothies will all ensure you’re getting enough nutrients and taking care of your teeth. Soups and stews are also very easy to eat with braces.

Remember to always use any over-the-counter medication as directed, and talk to our orthodontist about what will work best in your specific circumstances.

Oral anesthetics can be lifesavers, too. Products like Orajel™ can be applied directly to the affected areas for fast relief from pain, especially if you’re on the go without an ice pack.

Most importantly, try your best to be patient. Though pain can be an issue during those first few weeks, it’ll be over before you know it!
Poking Wire
Sometimes, through no fault of your own, a wire can come loose from your braces and irritate your teeth and gums. During the early phases of treatment, the wire being used to straighten your teeth can begin to shift back towards the molar area. The wire might then become elongated and poke at the inside of your mouth.

You may be surprised by how easily you can solve this issue without orthodontic intervention—until you have time to get to us, that is! If you aren’t able to book an appointment to solve the problem within a day or so, there are a few things you can try that will ease the pain and discomfort until we’re able to provide hands-on help.

Place a small amount of soft wax over the wire and area being affected to minimize the amount of discomfort you’re feeling. Our orthodontist will be able to assess the area during your appointment and determine whether that piece can be removed or adjusted.
Loose Appliances, Brackets, and Wires
Luckily, having a loose appliance isn’t considered an orthodontic emergency. However, just because the issue isn’t urgent doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be solved.

If you notice one of your orthodontic appliances is loose, please report it to our office immediately so we can take the proper steps. In rare cases, both the bands that accompany your braces and the brackets themselves can become loose or fall off. When this happens, the loose parts will need to be reattached by our orthodontist.

When a bracket comes loose from your tooth, it is often still attached to the wire with an elastic tie. The tie will prevent you from swallowing the bracket, but it will cause it to dangle on the wire. Loose brackets can cause problems in some cases, so it’s important to call us as soon as possible.
Loose Band
Your braces are typically accompanied by a series of bands that create a ring around your back teeth. Though they are cemented in place with adhesive, they can come loose from time to time. If this does happen, remember not to panic. A loose band doesn’t pose any major threats to your orthodontic treatment and doesn’t constitute an emergency. You should, however, report it to our office so we can make sure it’s safely and correctly reapplied.

A few things can happen if a loose band is left untreated. When the band is cemented to your teeth, this makes a seal that prevents plaque and saliva from building up on the inner side of the band and creating harmful bacteria that’s difficult to access for cleaning. The longer the band is left loose, the more likely it is that bacteria may enter the open area and impact your oral health by eating away the enamel and causing cavities.

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