Handling Orthodontic Emergencies: A Quick Guide

Orthodontic treatment is designed to improve your smile, but sometimes accidents happen, and the braces themselves may need attention. Injuries can result in damage to your teeth, gums, or mouth’s soft tissues, requiring immediate care. Here’s a handy guide to provide self-care in the event of an orthodontic emergency before you can seek treatment at Smokey Point Orthodontics.

In case of an orthodontic emergency, having cotton swabs, bracket wax, a toothpick, salt, tweezers, and anesthetic gel on hand can be helpful.

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Oral Cavity Accidents

Accidents can occur despite wearing a mouthguard during athletic activities. If your oral cavity is damaged due to an accident, seek immediate attention from a dentist or doctor. If there’s bleeding, apply pressure to the affected area. If a tooth gets knocked out, take it with you, if possible, and preserve it in milk or try to place it back in its original position in the mouth without touching the root. Bite down on a handkerchief to hold the tooth in place during the journey to the dentist.

Loose Brackets

If one of the square metal brackets becomes loose, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. You can carefully remove the bracket from the wire using tweezers and a toothpick, place it in an envelope or plastic bag, and bring it to the office with you.

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Wire Issues

Although rare, wires can become loose or break during treatment, causing discomfort. Use tweezers to bend the wire back against the tooth or apply orthodontic wax to prevent it from poking your cheek. Make an appointment with us even if you’ve temporarily alleviated the pain with tweezers, as the orthodontist needs to assess the situation.

Missing Rubber Bands

If a rubber band falls out, it’s not considered an emergency, and you can replace it yourself. If you accidentally swallow a rubber band, there’s no cause for concern as they are non-toxic.

While it’s normal to experience some mouth irritation with braces, loose brackets and poking wires should be addressed promptly to prevent injury or treatment delays. Make an appointment with us to correct these issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an orthodontic emergency?

An orthodontic emergency is a situation where an accident may have damaged your braces or clear aligners, requiring professional care to ensure your treatment continues smoothly. These emergencies do not pose a risk to your life.

How to handle orthodontic emergencies at home?

Orthodontic emergencies can have temporary DIY fixes at home, using everyday items to manage discomfort and temporarily address the problem.

Can an orthodontist help in an emergency?

Yes, if you have an orthodontic emergency, an orthodontist can assist in resolving the issue and getting your treatment back on track. However, other dental emergencies may require ER attention to prevent complications.

How does emergency dentistry work?

Emergency dentistry focuses on providing necessary care within the first 24 hours after accidents that may have caused tooth loss or significant facial damage. Such treatments should be sought in an emergency setting, such as an ER, if you experience swelling, continuous bleeding, or persistent pain.

How to find an emergency dental treatment center?

Contact your general dentist for information on the nearest urgent care center or specialist to address your emergency. Don’t underestimate the seriousness of your problem; seek help promptly.

How to handle orthodontic emergencies while traveling?

Orthodontic emergencies can often be temporarily addressed while traveling. Keep tweezers, orthodontic wax, or clippers on hand for quick fixes. Also, have your orthodontist’s contact information ready for guidance and solutions during emergencies.