How to Handle Orthodontic Emergencies

Although modern braces are generally comfortable and efficient, they don’t protect you from all dental emergencies. When you have traditional wire braces, you can run into difficulties that require immediate attention. If you suffer from any of the following, please call our office as soon as possible.  Most emergencies can be managed quickly and without any lasting damage to you or your teeth.

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Loose Brackets
and Wires

While a loose bracket or wire may not seem like an emergency, it can certainly feel like one. They can poke at the inside of your mouth, causing extreme mouth soreness and bleeding. If you can’t get to the orthodontist immediately, you can ease the discomfort by applying wax to the problem part of your braces. You may be able to make a temporary repair using tweezers or a pencil eraser to gently move the broken pieces out of the way.

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Immediately after you get your braces and after adjustments, you may have a few days of soreness. The pain can generally be managed with over-the-counter pain medications, but if the pain becomes excessive consult with your orthodontist to see if something unexpected is causing your discomfort.

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While you will never swallow a huge chunk of your braces, you can swallow a small part or two if they break. Normally, the wires will keep the broken parts in place, but sometimes they do slip out and slide down your throat. Usually, these pieces are so small that they will simply pass naturally. You should call your doctor as a precaution.

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When you wear braces, you are actually better protected against tooth decay than the average person, simply because you will be closely monitored for problems during the period the braces are on. However, you can still lose or damage a tooth due to an accident or sports collision. In those cases, your wire braces can damage your lips, mouth and gums. To prevent this issue, wear a mouthguard whenever you are involved in sports or intense physical activity.