What To Do When You Have An Orthodontic Emergency

What To Do When You Have An Orthodontic Emergency

Team Braces, Orthodontics

An orthodontic emergency is any urgent situation regarding your orthodontic treatment. A popped off bracket or a loose wire are just a couple of examples. 

If an orthodontic emergency arises, it helps to know what to do ahead of time so you can make the best decision for your care. Here’s how you should handle orthodontic emergencies

Loose or Broken Parts 

In the case of loose or broken parts of your orthodontics, please let us know as soon as possible. Examples include: 

  • Bracket or band comes off a tooth
  • Wire disconnected from bracket
  • Oral appliance loose or fallen off 
  • Any other part of your orthodontic equipment is not where it is supposed to be 

Poking Wire or Rough Piece 

In case of a wire or rough piece that is poking your mouth or causing irritation, start by pushing the wire back into place with a pencil eraser or cotton swab. If this is not effective, place sugarless bubble gum or a cotton ball over the rough spot and give us a call. We can put the offending piece back into the right place and relieve your irritation. 

Severe Mouth Sores

Getting used to orthodontic appliances can take some time. Sores may develop on the insides of your cheeks and lips, and possibly also on your tongue. Using orthodontic wax/sugarless bubble gum/cotton ball to smooth the rough areas can allow the soft tissues of your mouth to heal. Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory pain medication, such as ibuprofen, can help. You can also gargle or rinse your mouth out with ‘hot’ salt water or Colgate Peroxyl Rinse, an antiseptic rinse containing hydrogen peroxide; either can prevent a more serious infection. 

Food Stuck in Orthodontics 

It is common for food to get stuck in your braces or orthodontic appliances. Depending on the size and type, it can be extremely uncomfortable. See if you can remove it with a toothbrush or floss. If not, try using a toothpick to carefully dislodge the food. If nothing works, give us a call and we will see you as soon as possible. 

Lost or Damaged Retainer or Aligner 

Invisalign aligners and retainers are both important to your orthodontic treatment. When you don’t wear them, your teeth could shift back to their previous incorrect positions. If a retainer or aligner is lost or damaged, call us right away. For Invisalign, wear the previous set of aligners and call us ASAP so that we can get you a digitally remanufactured replacement within 5 Business days. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Orthodontic Emergencies

How urgent is it if a braces bracket comes off?

A braces bracket should be put back on the tooth as soon as possible, but it does not require an after hours appointment in most cases. It can wait until the next regular office day if the office is closed. 

How do I know if a mouth sore is infected?

If you have a sore spot in your mouth that doesn’t heal over time or gets worse, it could be infected. An infected mouth sore may develop an abscess, a bump with a white head. It may ooze pus. A severe infection can even cause a fever. Contact us if you have a persistent mouth sore. All mouth sores should NEVER persist beyond 2 weeks.

When to Call After Hours 

When something is extremely uncomfortable or painful, and you need immediate assistance, Dr. Garrick F. Wong Orthodontics provides emergency care 24/7 for those situations that can’t wait. 

Please call 203-625-9888 and/or contact us during office hours to schedule a special appointment. If you reach us after hours, simply follow the instructions on our voicemail to text Dr. Wong’s emergency number and Dr. Wong will contact you ASAP to arrange a special appointment.