Common Orthodontic Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Millions of people worldwide have turned to orthodontic treatment in recent years in an effort to attain better dental alignment and a radiant, self-assured...
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Common Orthodontic Emergencies and How to Handle Them

Millions of people worldwide have turned to orthodontic treatment in recent years in an effort to attain better dental alignment and a radiant, self-assured smile. Orthodontic crises can occasionally occur, despite the fact that orthodontic treatment is often secure and efficient.

Understanding how to respond to these situations in an emergency can significantly improve your dental health and the outcome of your orthodontic treatment.

This article will discuss some typical orthodontic emergencies and some tips on how to handle them with the help of an orthodontic treatment dentist.

Loose Bands or Brackets

An issue with a loose bracket or band during orthodontic treatment is rather typical. It may occur due to the braces’ usual wear and tear or because particular meals put the brackets under additional tension. If you see a loose bracket, the first thing to do is not to freak out.

You should normally be able to leave the bracket in place while waiting to visit your orthodontist for a repair if it isn’t hurting you. However, you can use orthodontic wax to make the loose bracket more comfortable if it is causing pain or digging into your cheek.

As a cushion, this wax lessens friction between the bracket and your soft tissues. Do not forget to call your orthodontist to arrange an appointment as soon as you can.

Poking or Discomforting Wires

It can be very unpleasant when a wire or bracket breaks free and starts piercing or stinging the inside of your mouth. Your tongue, lips, and sensitive face tissues are all susceptible to abrasions. To move the wire into a more comfortable position, start by gently pushing it using the eraser end of a pencil.

The quick alleviation that this might offer is frequent. The sharp end of the wire must be covered with orthodontic wax, though, if it still hurts. The soft, malleable substance known as orthodontic wax creates an effective barrier between your braces and your delicate oral tissues.

Until you can make an appointment with your orthodontist to have the wire correctly adjusted, this temporary fix can aid in preventing more aggravation. To avoid more problems, never attempt to cut the wire yourself.

Discomfort and Soreness

It’s natural to feel sore and uncomfortable after obtaining braces or having adjustments. Your teeth are progressively moving, which may make you feel sensitive. The good news is that this soreness often lasts for a short while and will go away in a few days.

Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter painkillers can help reduce the discomfort but always adhere to the dose recommendations. Since soft foods are easier on your teeth and braces during this period, eating them can also assist in lessening discomfort.

It’s a good idea to search for “orthodontic treatment dentist near me” if the discomfort lasts longer than expected or if it gets severe. They can evaluate the circumstance and offer suggestions for dealing with the pain.

Injury or Trauma

It’s important to examine your braces or appliances for any damage in the unfortunate case of a mouth injury, such as a fall or sports-related incident. Check for any bleeding, swelling, or loose teeth in your mouth first. Getting medical help right away is crucial if you think you might have suffered a major injury.

Even though your orthodontic equipment appears to be in good condition, it is advisable to see your orthodontist to make sure there are no hidden problems. Your braces’ alignment may be affected by trauma, or it might result in less obvious damage.

Lost or Broken Parts

Accidents sometimes happen, and orthodontic items like brackets and aligners can get broken or lost. It’s crucial to keep the broken section of your braces if a bracket or other component breaks. This can assist your orthodontist in figuring out what went wrong and the best course of action.

To inform them of the problem, get in touch with your orthodontist’s office. They will decide the urgency of the issue and whether you can wait until your next appointment or if you need to come in immediately for a repair.

Do not skip an aligner in the series if you lose one because doing so might cause therapy to become less effective. Be sure to contact your orthodontist for more guidance on how to begin.

Loose Elastic Tie or Ligature

Small rubber bands, known as ligatures or elastic ties, are used to secure the archwire to the bracket. These connections may occasionally sag or even come undone.

If you see a loose ligature, carefully reposition the tie back onto the bracket using clean tweezers. Make sure not to use too much pressure as you gently push it into position.

You must seek help from your orthodontist if you cannot adjust the ligature or if it continues slipping off. These ties are essential for preserving good archwire placement. Therefore, they could set up an urgent appointment to repair the problem.

Inhaled or Swallowed Parts

Although highly unlikely, it’s possible for an orthodontic device to slip loose and be inadvertently eaten or breathed. It’s critical to get medical help right away if this occurs.

Prompt action is necessary to avoid any potential difficulties after ingesting or breathing an orthodontic appliance. Once the urgent medical issue has been resolved, inform your orthodontist of the occurrence.

To guarantee your safety and the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment, they can evaluate the situation and decide what actions to take next.

Ulcers or Mouth Sores

Even while braces or other orthodontic appliances don’t directly cause mouth sores or ulcers, braces can worsen them. Braces may increase friction against your sensitive tissues, aggravating the pain these sores produce.

Rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can help relieve the discomfort and speed up recovery. Oral numbing gels sold without a prescription can also numb the region momentarily and relieve pain.

It is crucial to receive treatment done by searching for “orthodontic treatment near me” if the sores continue or get worse. They may evaluate the case, ascertain what is causing the sores, and ensure no underlying problems require attention.

Do not hesitate to contact the supplied emergency contact if you are in excruciating pain or have a serious problem, such as a mouth injury, that requires immediate attention.

To avoid issues and assure your comfort and safety, responding to crises as soon as possible is crucial. Over the phone, your orthodontist can offer advice or make the necessary arrangements for a consultation or treatment.

Irritation or Allergic Reactions

Individuals may occasionally experience an allergic reaction to the components of orthodontic equipment, such as nickel used in brackets. You should immediately get in touch with your orthodontist if you have persistent mouth swelling, redness, or discomfort.

They can evaluate the issue and establish whether an allergic response is bringing on your discomfort. Your orthodontist might suggest alternate materials for your braces or appliances if an allergy is detected in order to stop future sensitivity. This issue must be resolved to guarantee your comfort and the efficacy of your therapy.

Emergencies During Non-Business Hours

Even after regular business hours, orthodontic emergencies can happen at any moment. A contact number is typically provided by orthodontic offices that provide on-call emergency services.


While orthodontic crises might be alarming, preparing for them can help you feel better and avoid subsequent issues. Always keep orthodontic wax on hand to ease discomfort momentarily, and don’t be afraid to ask your orthodontist for advice if you’re unsure of the severity of the problem.

To get the beautiful smile you’ve been working for, it’s important to continue frequent checkups with your orthodontist. Proactive care is crucial to a smooth and successful orthodontic journey.