Emergency Orthodontic Care

A true orthodontic emergency is constituted by a feeling of such discomfort that you cannot wait until your next regularly scheduled appointment. Fortunately, these emergencies are infrequent and rarely debilitating.

If you have a problem with your braces or appliances, please call us to discuss your needs before coming in so our team can properly assess the tools and time needed for your visit. Should you have an emergency outside of our regular hours, follow our phone prompts to be connected to our on-call orthodontist.

While you wait for your appointment, here are some common emergency situations and temporary at-home options that can help ease your discomfort.


Broken Brackets
In most cases, broken or loose brackets are not an urgent problem. When a bracket comes off a tooth, it is still normally attached to the wire. This will prevent it from being swallowed, though it may move or spin around the wire. To temporarily reset your bracket, press a little orthodontic wax between the bracket and your tooth. If the loose/broken bracket is causing pain, please call us. If the bracket falls off completely, wrap it carefully in a tissue and bring it to your next appointment.


Poking Wire
As your teeth shift to proper placement and close in empty gaps, patients will often find that the wire will get longer at the back molar area. Fortunately, this discomfort can often be eased at home with orthodontic wax. First, dry the area with a paper towel. Then roll up a piece of wax into a ball. Place the ball of wax into the area of the poking wire. The wax will smooth the area and protect your mouth. If the wax does not resolve your pain, please contact us to get your wire clipped.


Orthodontic Discomfort & Pain
Mild discomfort and pain is often a normal part of orthodontic treatment. Pain usually tends to occur 4-6 hours after the braces are placed or after an adjustment appointment. Over the next day or two, the pain could become progressively worse. However; after the third or fourth day the pain will begin to subside. Most orthodontic pain can be eased by rinsing with warm saltwater. Over-the-counter pain medications can also be used right before or right after adjustment appointments for better effectiveness.


Injury
Dental injuries while in braces can be traumatic. Immediate care should be sought immediately from your physician and dentist.


Loose, Broken or Lost Appliances
If an appliance becomes loose, is out of proper position, or falls out of place completely, please call our office to schedule a visit. The desired correction by that appliance can be lost quickly, so an emergency appointment should be made to keep treatment on track.


Mouth Sores
Brackets or appliance pieces can sometimes cause irritations on your tongue, cheeks, lips or gums. If this occurs, try rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. Wax can also be used to cover the appliance and prevent further discomfort.