Common Orthodontic Emergencies
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TREAT YOUR ORTHODONTIC EMERGENCIES YOURSELF, IF YOU FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE TRYING TO RESOLVE THE EMERGENCY OR ARE UNSURE HOW TO HANDLE THE EMERGENCY. IF THIS IS A LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL 911.
|1. Loose BracketBrackets are small metal or clear crystal squares that are “glued” to your teeth. If you accidentally eat something HARD or STICKY, one or more of your brackets may come off.
If the bracket is just loose, and your next appointment is soon, you can keep it in place with dental wax.
If the bracket is all the way off, contact us for an emergency appointment. Or you can try removing the “O” elastic ring with a bent paperclip.
|2. Loose BandBands are metal rings that go all the way around your back teeth
If a band is a little loose, and your next appointment is soon just mention it at your next visit. Also do not use your rubber bands until it is fixed.
If your next appointment isn’t soon, contact us to schedule an emergency appointment. It’s very important that bands are tight since decay can build up quickly under a loose band.
|3. Broken ArchwireArchwires are long metal wires that are placed horizontally across your teeth. Most patients have two archwires. One for the upper teeth and one for the lower teeth.
If your archwire breaks, and your next appointment is soon, just mention it at your next visit.
If your next appointment isn’t soon, contact us to schedule an emergency appointment.
If you need to remove the archwire, you can use a bent paperclip to remove the “O” elastic rings.
|4. Something Is PokingThe most common orthodontic “emergency” is a poking wire or bracket.
To stop the irritation, take a piece of dental wax and place it over the area that bothers you. Replace the wax as needed.
Some people are more sensitive than others- if you need more wax, feel free to come into our office and pick some up. you can also find dental wax at most drugstores.
|5. Wire Out of PlaceIf the archwire end comes out of its tube, reinsert the wire with tweezers or needle nose pliers (as a last resort you can clip the wire with clean nail clippers or wire cutters. Cut the wire as close to the nearest attached bracket as possible.
If you need help contact us for an emergency appointment. Cover the are with dental wax if it’s uncomfortable.
|6. Wire Is Too LongAs teeth move, the archwire end can seem to get longer. If it gets so long that it is poking your cheek it will need to be cut.
Contact us to schedule an emergency appointment and we will cut the wire. cover the area with dental wax in the meantime.
You can cut the wire if it is more convenient. Use a clean nail clipper or wire cutter.