“There are orthodontic emergencies?!”
No need to freak out—true orthodontic emergencies pretty much never happen. What you are likely to experience are some mild mishaps. While they can feel stressful in the moment, we promise they are easy to fix—some you can even fix yourself. Let’s go over these common issues below.
What Is an Actual Orthodontic Emergency?
In essence, an orthodontic emergency is an injury to the teeth, jaw, lips, and/or head that also involves the appliance. These injuries can be severe, and therefore, you should head directly to the emergency room if you receive one. Once the actual injuries are treated, you can come see us to repair the appliance.
What Is a Mishap?
An orthodontic mishap is when something isn’t quite as it should be, but the problem is not causing or related to a severe injury. Maybe a bracket will come loose or a wire will pop out of place. Here are common mishaps and what you should do:
- General Soreness: Weather it is sensitivity to bite pressure or the appliance rubbing the soft tissues of the mouth, you can treat the issue with saltwater rinses and over-the-counter pain medication. For bite pressure specifically, eat soft foods until the sensitivity goes away.
- Headgear Pain: When your headgear gives you pain, it is because you are note wearing it enough. Start wearing it as often as the prescribed and the pain should go away. If you try this for a week and see no difference, contact us.
- Poking Wire: When a wire is poking you, it may be loose. If it is, try to get it back into the bracket. If you cannot, cover it with dental wax and schedule an appointment so we can correct it.
- Loose Bracket: If your bracket is loose on the wire, you can use dental wax to temporarily hold it in place. If it is off the wire completely, take it and put it somewhere safe so you can bring it to us. In either case, call us as soon as possible so we can see you.
While there are other problems that can arise, these are the most common ones for patients to encounter. Keep in mind that no matter what happens, we are always here to help you. Never hesitate to give us a call.