Life is unpredictable.
Unfortunately, unexpected problems can happen to any of us. If you find yourself in an unexpected orthodontic situation, we are here to help educate you, bring you comfort in your situation, and place you back on course to achieving an aligned, healthy smile.
What is an urgent orthodontic need?
Through a broad lens, any significant pain or discomfort you feel in your mouth constitutes an urgent orthodontic need. You might have sustained an injury to the teeth or mouth during a sports game. Maybe you notice a progressively tender spot near your wisdom teeth. Or maybe your braces’ bracket was dislodged. In any of these cases, be prompt about seeking professional help as soon as possible to avoid further pain, discomfort or regression in your treatment.
Use discretion when determining how to deal with an orthodontic problem. If your tooth has punctured through your lip, seek out medical attention immediately. If your mouth is bleeding uncontrollably or you sustain any serious injury that risks your wellbeing, go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care clinic. While we would love to help you in these scenarios, serious injuries need immediate attention!
Dislodged Wires or Brackets
During your braces treatment, you may experience a wire popping out of place from an impact to the mouth. Or, you may experience a displaced bracket after biting into a hard candy (which we advise you not to eat while wearing braces). In the case that your wire pops out of place, try to use tweezers to place the wire back in the bracket until you’re able to visit us. At your initial braces appointment, we will give you comfort wax to use in cases like these. The wax can be used to mask the pointed end of the wire and protect your mouth from harm. Wax can also be used as an adhesive in some cases, holding the wire in place.
If a bracket falls off for any reason, this should be brought to us quickly. Your bracket will need to be placed back on the tooth, in line with the rest of your brackets, to avoid any misaligned movement in your teeth. If you still have the bracket when it falls off, bring it to us in case it may be salvaged for repair. Use the protecting wax solution to cover any loose ends of the wire if it starts to cause any discomfort.
Sore Teeth or Mouth
Soreness may occur in the teeth, surrounding gums or anywhere else in the mouth. A slight discomfort is normal to an extent, especially during the beginning phases of orthodontic treatment. With braces, your teeth and gums need time to adjust to the transition and constant pressure. To reduce soreness and tenderness, you can take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers such as Ibuprofen. (Aspirin will slow down the movement of your teeth). If you notice any redness or swelling of the gums, this is usually a result of inadequate removal of plaque from around the brackets. Be sure to brush and floss properly to allow the gums to slowly heal. Saltwater solutions are beneficial for soothing pain and reducing inflammation of the gums as well.