Emergency Orthodontic Care
Although it’s a rare occurrence, orthodontic emergencies do happen. Once you get used to the feeling of orthodontic treatment, you’ll know the difference between the slight discomfort of shifting teeth versus the feeling when something is wrong.
For any orthodontic emergency, you can contact our office at (512) 379-8222 with any questions or for help with how to best handle the situation.
What to Do During an Orthodontic Emergency
The most important thing to remember in an orthodontic emergency is to remain calm. If you think you may be experiencing an orthodontic emergency, the first thing you need to do is determine the severity of the problem: is the situation urgent and requires immediate attention, or is the problem minor and could be handled at home until you are able to come into our office?
Major emergencies are typically not life-threatening, but the biggest concern will be any disruption of the treatment process. For any major emergencies, such as persistent, extreme pain around the mouth or face, collisions involving the teeth or face, or swelling and signs of infection, you should seek help as soon as possible. An emergency room or emergency dentist would have the tools necessary for these situations.
Common Orthodontic Emergencies
Fortunately, the majority of orthodontic problems will be minor, but may still cause irritation or discomfort. Here are a few of the more common problems you may experience, along with tips for how to best handle the situation:
Loose Bands or Wires
Brackets are fixed to your teeth using a special adhesive. Sometimes, certain foods or impacts to the mouth can loosen the brackets. As wires or brackets loosen, the appliances may rub against the inside of your mouth, causing sores and irritation. You can use orthodontic wax to cover the look appliance until you are able to see the doctor for a repair.
While the wire going through each bracket is very durable, abrupt or strong force could cause it to break. You can try moving the wire back into place with a pencil eraser or a Q-tip to prevent it from poking the inside of your mouth. However, the wire in your braces is essential to the straightening process, so you’ll want to contact our office as soon as possible to have the wire fixed.
Swallowed Appliance Piece
In some cases, swallowing a bracket or band is possible if the appliance breaks without you realizing it. Most of the time, swallowing such a small piece is harmless, however, it is still important to seek help right away so that we can fix the broken appliance as soon as possible.