Orthodontic Emergencies or Problems
As a general rule, orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur, we are available for you. You should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have an appliance problem. We will be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. Orthodontic emergencies are just one of the orthodontic services we offer in Mt Airy, Maryland.
Loose Bracket or Band
Occasionally, a glued bracket may come loose. If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire and is not causing any irritation, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. You can remove the loose bracket and save it in an envelope to bring to the office. Call the office as soon as possible in order for us to allow time to re-glue the bracket.
If a wire is poking your gums or cheek, there are several things you can try until you can get to the office for an appointment. First, try a ball of wax on the wire that is causing the irritation. You may also try using a nail clipper or cuticle cutter to cut the extra piece of wire that is sticking out. Sometimes, a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no longer causes discomfort. To do this, you may use a pencil eraser or some other smooth object and tuck the offending wire back out of the way.
Using a tweezer, try to put your wire back into place. You can use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which the wire is attached. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.
Wire Out of Back Brace
Please be careful to avoid hard or sticky foods that may bend the wire or cause it to come out of the back brace. If this does happen, you may use needle nose pliers or tweezers to put the wire back into the hole in the back brace. If you are unable to do this, you may clip the wire to ease the discomfort. Please call the office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to replace the wire.
Poking Elastic (Rubber Band) Hook
Some brackets have small hooks on them for elastic wear. These hooks can occasionally become irritating to the lips or cheeks. If this happens, you may either use a pencil eraser to carefully push the hook in, or you can place a ball of wax on the hook to make the area feel smooth.
You may be experiencing some discomfort after beginning treatment or at the change of wires or adjusting of appliances. This is normal and should diminish within 24-72 hours.
Here are a few suggestions to help with the discomfort:
- If pain persists for more than a few days, call our office
- Rinse with warm water, eat a soft diet, and take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) as directed on the bottle.
- Chewing on the sore teeth may be sorer in the short term but feel better faster
Emergency Orthodontic Care Frequently Asked Questions
What do orthodontists and dentists consider an orthodontic emergency?
An orthodontic emergency is a situation that causes severe discomfort or affects the progress of your orthodontic treatment. This could include a broken brace, a loose wire poking your cheek, or a lost retainer. If you’re in pain or can’t continue your treatment as planned, that’s an orthodontic emergency. It’s important to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to get help if you face any of these issues.
How long can you go with a loose bracket?
If the bracket is still secure and without discomfort or damage, it may be acceptable to wait a few days before seeking a replacement. On the other hand, though it might not cause discomfort immediately, a loose bracket can affect the effectiveness of your braces and prolong your treatment time. Moreover, if the bracket comes off entirely, it could injure your mouth. Your orthodontist can quickly fix a loose bracket, keeping your treatment in tacked and your mouth safe.
Is a loose bracket an emergency?
A loose wire on braces isn’t typically an emergency, but you should not ignore it. The loose wire may poke into your cheek or gums, causing discomfort or even sores. This can disrupt your orthodontic treatment. Contact your orthodontist if you can’t fix it temporarily with orthodontic wax. They’ll be able to properly fix the wire and ensure your braces work as they should.
What happens if your wire is poking you?
If the wire from your braces is poking you, it can cause discomfort or even small injuries to your cheek or gums. You could cover the offending wire with orthodontic wax to create a smooth surface and prevent further irritation. However, this is a temporary solution. You should contact your orthodontist to have them adjust your wire properly and avoid any potential complications with your treatment.
Can you cut a poking braces wire at home?
While cutting a poking wire at home might be tempting, most orthodontists will not recommend it. Cutting the wire yourself could lead to accidentally swallowing or inhaling the cut piece, which can be hazardous. Also, you might end up damaging your braces more. If you’re dealing with a poking wire, try to reposition it with a cotton swab or cover it with orthodontic wax for temporary relief. Then, contact your orthodontist as soon as possible so that they can adjust it professionally.
Can I eat if my bracket falls off?
You can still eat if a bracket falls off, but you must be careful. Contact your orthodontist as soon as possible so they can reattach the bracket to your braces and check for any other issues. In the meantime, you should choose soft foods and avoid biting down directly on the area where the bracket came off. Hard or crunchy foods could potentially damage the loose wire or other parts of your braces. After eating, rinse your mouth and brush your teeth to remove any food particles.