s-braces.jpgOrthodontic emergencies are rare, but occasionally the appliances become damaged and cause discomfort. Orthodontic emergencies are different than dental emergencies. A dental emergency would involve a direct injury to the mouth or teeth whereby a tooth has been knocked out, severely displaced or fractured. With these types of injuries, it is best to contact your family dentist first so he/she can assess damage to the jaws and teeth. Please call our office immediately after seeing your dentist so we can appoint a time to repair dislodged or displaced appliances. In some rare instances when the injury is severe, we recommend that you go to the emergency room to evaluate if any fracture of facial bones occurred.

Most common orthodontic emergencies usually consist of loose, broken or bent appliances. Certain instances will require an office appointment, while other things are not as critical and may be handled at home. Please remember that if you are in pain, discomfort or have a question, please call the office to discuss your problem. If your call is after normal business hours, please leave a message.

We are here to make your orthodontic experience comfortable and efficient.

Emergency Tips

Appliance or Retainer – If you lose or break a removable appliance or retainer, please call our office during normal business hours or leave a message.

Spacers – Should you lose a spacer, please call our office immediately so we can determine if the spacer needs to be replaced or if it can wait until your next appointment.

Wire Poke – Use a pencil eraser to push the wire away from the irritated area. If this does not work, cover the end of the wire with wax or sugarless gum until you can see us for an appointment. Please call our office for an emergency appointment if none of the above suggestions work so we can clip the wire.

Loose Bracket or Band – Call our office so that we may reschedule your appointment for a longer time; however, in the meantime, you may use a pair of tweezers to reposition or remove the bracket if it becomes a source of irritation.

Sore Teeth and Gums – Take Tylenol or ibuprofen and rinse your mouth with a warm glass of salt water.

Emergency/ First Aid

Your teeth may be sore after having braces placed or after adjustments.
We recommend you take whatever you normally take for a headache. Tylenol or ibuprofen work well and help to control inflammation. We do not recommend the use of aspirin. The soreness typically lasts for only 2-4 days depending on a person's pain tolerance.

Your teeth may feel loose during orthodontic treatment.
Your teeth will feel loose because we are moving them. Once they are in their new position, the tissue around them will firm up, and they will feel tight again. If you experience any trauma to the mouth, such as getting hit in the mouth or falling, please bring it to our attention. If the teeth are sore, the wire appears bent, brackets are loose or teeth appear to have moved, please call us for an appointment so we can make sure everything is OK.

If you notice bleeding when you brush, do not be alarmed!
It just means that you have an irritation that needs more attention when you brush. Keep the area free of bacteria and plaque by frequent brushing, and it should clear up in a few days.

Even though you may be very careful, your braces may, at some point, "break."
This does not necessarily mean that you have to come in right away to have this fixed. Unless what has broken is causing you pain, you can normally wait until your next scheduled appointment to bring what is broken to our attention. It is helpful to give us a call prior to your appointment to inform us of something broken so we can allow more time to fix it. If you are unable to wear your elastics because of what has broken, please call us right away to make a repair appointment. If you have any doubt of what to do, please call for reassurance.

Sometimes retainers may get lost, broken or just don't fit anymore.
If, for whatever reason, you are unable to wear your retainer, please call our office for an appointment. If you still have your retainer, bring it with you. Sometimes we are able to make your retainers "fit" again with minor adjustments.