Emergencies involving orthodontics are a rare thing. The truth is, most of these issues can be handled with home-care. However, there are times when it’s important that you see your orthodontist right away.
Severe toothache, injury to your mouth or cheek, loose or broken teeth, sores, poking wires and allergic reactions are all instances of orthodontic emergencies. In these cases, it’s important that you don’t delay treatment.
What do I do for non-emergencies?
Wire Causing Irritation | Use orthodontic wax to cover the area. If it continues to bother you, make an appointment with your orthodontist.
Cracked Retainer | Make an appointment during normal business hours. It’s not an emergency, but the sooner we take care of the issue, the better.
Broken Wire | Make an appointment during normal business hours. We will adjust or replace the wire. Only pull out the wire if you can do it safely.
Bent Headgear | Cease using it until you can come in for an appointment.
Soreness | Discomfort is normal when using orthodontics. Rinse your mouth with warm salt-water or take a pain reliever, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If the discomfort is persistent or increasing in intensity, make an appointment to see us during normal business hours.
Mouth Sores | Unfortunately, this can be common as well. Sores on your cheeks, tongue, or lips can be uncomfortable. Use topical anesthetics over the area as often as needed. Make sure you use cotton swabs when applying the anesthetic.
When you have an Orthodontics Emergency:
- For loose or broken teeth, it’s important you come in right away. The added tension from orthodontic appliances on teeth makes this an emergency situation.
- Sores that are not healing may be caused by an allergic reaction. If you have swelling, inflammation and/or trouble eating or swallowing, in addition to the sores, come in to see your dentist immediately.
- If your wires are poking you and you don’t have orthodontic wax available, make sure to come get some from your orthodontist. Your wires may need repair and your dentist may be able to do that right away.
While orthodontic emergencies are not common, it is important to be aware of when an issue can be put off, and when it’s best to come to the office immediately.