We have carefully resumed routine orthodontic care to serve you. Please see our safety procedures here and call us for your next visit.

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How to Prepare for an Ortho Emergency

What is your orthodontic emergency plan?

It’s not as exciting as a zombie plan, granted, but everyone with braces should be prepared in case something goes wrong with their appliance in between visits, because some of these could lead to a delay in Braces Off Day if they aren’t addressed quickly!

Minor Orthodontic Problems

The most common setbacks braces-wearers may experience are things like a bracket coming loose or breaking, poking wires, and toothaches. The solutions for these are pretty straightforward:

  • For a broken bracket: schedule a repair appointment. Don’t just leave it until the next regular appointment, because that can throw off your treatment schedule.
  • For a poking wire: you may be able to fix this one on your own. Sometimes it’s possible to gently push the poking part in to get it out of the way using a pencil eraser. Orthodontic wax can also help. Give us a call if these solutions aren’t helping. Sometimes we just need to clip the end of the wire a little.
  • For toothaches and soreness: this is usually temporary, so eat soft foods and swish warm saltwater. You can manage discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers, but contact us if it doesn’t go away within a couple days of an adjustment or if it gets worse.

Major Orthodontic Emergencies (Are Rare)

Most of the time, a patient will never have to deal with a serious emergency during their orthodontic treatment, but preparation is still a good idea. Severe pain in the mouth or face, swollen or infected gums or major swelling around the face, or a traumatic injury to the mouth, teeth, or face could all mean a serious problem.

Call us immediately to schedule an emergency appointment if you experience anything like this, but go to the emergency room first if the problem affects more than just your appliance. When you’re out of danger, call us so that we can address the problems with your braces.

We Can Help You Refine Your Emergency Plan

If you have any questions about what else you can do to protect your braces in the event of an emergency (major or minor), we’re happy to answer them. We’re also happy to supply extra rubber bands and orthodontic wax so that you have enough on hand at all times.

We look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

Top image by Flickr user Don LaVange used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.