Orthodontic Emergencies

Commom orthodontic emergencies

Although there are very few true orthodontic emergencies, during the course of treatment you may discover that you have loose or broken brackets or that the orthodontic wires may shift and begin irritating your lips or cheeks. Below is a list of common problems and how they may be remedied at home.

If you have a problem that you cannot resolve on your own, please call our office. Our orthodontic team will be able to give you advice on how to solve the problem yourself or schedule you the appropriate appointment so that the problem can be fixed.

Loose bracketCall the office to schedule an appointment to repair the bracket. If the bracket is attached to the wire, leave it in place and cover it with wax as needed for comfort. If the bracket comes out completely, bring it with you to your next appointment.  Avoid connecting elastics or a headgear appliance to any loose brackets.
Broken or poking wireIf a broken wire can be removed easily, remove the broken piece. If a wire slips out of its tube, replace the wire in the tube or under the tube hook with tweezers. If the wire still pokes, try to slide it over with your finger or put wax on it until we can see you in the office.
Tooth sorenessSoreness will occur off and on during orthodontic treatment. Tylenol or ibuprofen will help. Also, try to stick to softer foods during this time.
Traumatic accidentsUse ice immediately to reduce swelling. If the teeth are displaced and don’t fit together properly, arch wires are bent, or soft tissue is stuck in the braces, schedule an appointment immediately in our office, with your general dentist or oral surgeon.
Loose teethLoosening is common, as teeth must loosen before they can move. They will tighten following appliance removal.
Irritated cheeks, lips,
or tongue
Brackets may irritate soft tissues initially until the tissue toughens (as hands callous). Soft wax will ease the discomfort as does a warm salt water rinse.
Lost RetainersPlease call as soon as you lose your retainers.