Orthodontic Emergency: What Do I Do?

Fortunately, orthodontic emergencies are relatively rare. Some complications can be avoided by taking good care of your braces and avoiding certain foods. Other issues are unavoidable and if they do occur, it is important to let us know right away so that we can help.

 Injuries:

If you injure your mouth or teeth, it is important to see orthodontist right away. We will be able to determine the extent of the injury. You may need to have your brackets and/or wires replaced if they have been damaged.The most important thing you can do to protect your mouth from being injured while playing sports is to wear a mouth guard. There are different types of mouth guards and we can help you to determine which would be best suited for you. 

Discomfort:

Some minor discomfort is to be expected during orthodontic treatment and may even start several weeks after an orthodontic adjustment. Over-the-counter pain medications can help to alleviate the pain associated with braces.  If the discomfort is prolonged (lasting longer than two weeks), you should let your orthodontist know.

Gum Swelling:

Swelling of the tissue around your teeth may indicate that you are not removing the food and plaque on your teeth regularly. Poor oral hygiene can cause irritation and swelling of the gum tissue. It is important for you to brush and floss after every meal during your orthodontic treatment to maintain good dental health.

An area of swelling that is particularly red or painful, may indicate that food has become lodged under the tissue. If you suspect this may be the case, it is important to see your dentist or orthodontist right away so that the area can be thoroughly cleaned. 

Minor Orthodontic Issues:

Other issues that can occur during orthodontic treatment include:

-Wires that are long or poking

-Loose or broken brackets          

-Loose or broken wires

-Lost or broken elastic tie

-Orthodontic appliance that is loose or broken 

Some of these issues can be prevented by avoiding foods that are hard or sticky and by not chewing on foreign objects like pens and pencils. Please call our office right away, if you need to have something repaired. If you cannot come in immediately, you may be able to use wax for any sharp edges or carefully clip wires with clean fingernail trimmers. We are here to help! Call our office number anytime if you have any questions or concerns.



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