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Orthodontic Emergencies: What to Do If Something Goes Wrong

If you’re wearing braces or an orthodontic appliance, it’s important to know what to do if something goes wrong while you’re on vacation, away from your orthodontist. Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but it’s good to know how to handle them when they happen.

Let’s discuss some common orthodontic emergencies and what you can do to fix them.

Trapped Food

If you have food caught between your teeth and braces, try removing it with a water flosser or interdental brush. If that doesn’t work, try using a toothpick or floss.

Be careful not to damage your gums or braces while removing the food. If you can’t get the food out, don’t panic. Your orthodontist will be able to help if you are struggling.

Mouth Sores and Irritation

Mouth sores are common when you first get braces. They usually go away on their own within a week or two. To help with the pain and discomfort, you can take ibuprofen for pain relief if needed. Of course, always consult with your doctor.

If the mouth sores don’t go away or become too painful, try using wax on the irritating brackets or wires. If that doesn’t help, contact your orthodontist. Your orthodontist will make you feel comfortable.

Loose Ligatures

Ligatures are the rubber bands that hold the wire to the brackets. If a ligature comes loose, try putting it back in place with tweezers. If you can’t do that, contact your orthodontist for an emergency appointment.

Before starting, sterilize your tweezers to ensure you aren’t introducing new bacteria to your mouth.

Protruding Wires

If a wire is poking you, try using a cotton swab or eraser to push it back into place. You can cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax until you see your orthodontist.

With particularly bothersome wires, you can use pliers to bend them away from your mouth. But be careful not to cut or damage the wire.

Loose Brackets and Bands

If a bracket or band comes loose, call your orthodontist immediately. In the meantime, you can put wax on the loose bracket or band if it’s causing discomfort.

With brackets, try using tweezers to move the bracket back into place. But be careful not to put any pressure on the wire attached to the bracket.

Your brackets and bands are instrumental in holding your braces in place. If one comes loose, it may mean that there is a problem with your adhesive.

The Bottom Line

Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur, it’s essential to know how to handle them. By following the steps above, you will help ensure your orthodontic treatment goes smoothly. The less emergencies you have, the quicker you’ll achieve a smile you’ll love. That’s why it’s important to care for your braces as your orthodontist instructed you.

Always remember to follow the instructions your orthodontist provided you when you got your braces on. Orthodontic emergencies can be prevented. They are usually caused by foods you’re not supposed to have. For more orthodontic tips and a list of foods you should avoid while in braces, you can click here.

If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. They will be happy to help you through any orthodontic emergency.

As an experienced orthodontist, Dr. Yazji offers a full range of orthodontic services to patients in the Miami area and Broward County. If you’re considering orthodontics in Miami call us at (954) 217-3737 or request an appointmentonline. We look forward to hearing from you!

About the Author Maria Yazji