Orthodontic Emergency: Most Common Causes and Treatment

Orthodontic Emergency: Most Common Causes and Treatment

If you have braces or other orthodontic appliances, you should know what to do in the event of an emergency. An orthodontic emergency is any problem that needs quick treatment to prevent additional harm to your teeth or mouth. There are several types of orthodontic crises, and the best technique to address each one is determined by the unique scenario as emphasized by a dentist in Springfield, VA. In this article, we will discuss the most common orthodontic emergencies that take place and what can you do to minimize the discomfort.

Most Common Orthodontic Emergencies

These situations would be considered true “emergencies” and require attention from your orthodontist as soon as possible:

  • Continued pain that over-the-counter pain relievers don’t relieve.
  • Inflammation in the mouth or face that indicates an infection.
  • Mouth sores or ulcers.
  • Swallowed pieces of orthodontic devices.
  • Injury to the mouth, teeth, or face. 
  • Pain resulting from a broken appliance that is causing injury to the cheeks, tongue, or gums.

Actions to take when one of these incidents occurs:

Broken Brackets or Wires: If a bracket becomes detached or a wire breaks, carefully remove any loose pieces to prevent swallowing or injury. Cover the sharp edge with orthodontic wax to minimize irritation, and contact your orthodontist to schedule a repair appointment.

Sore or Irritated Gums and Cheeks: A tip to alleviate discomfort is to rinse your mouth with warm saltwater to reduce inflammation. Applying orthodontic wax over the braces’ edges can create a protective barrier and minimize irritation.

Poking or Loose Archwire: A safe method to address the problem temporarily is to gently push the wire back into place using a clean cotton swab or the eraser end of a pencil. If this is not possible, place orthodontic wax over the protruding end to prevent further irritation and seek professional assistance.

Dislodged or Lost Elastic Bands: If you misplace or dislodge your elastic band, try to contact your orthodontist to get replacement bands on time. Do not use alternative materials, as they may not achieve the same result as given by your orthodontist.

It is important to stay calm when any dental or medical emergency takes place. The ideal thing you can do is to contact your orthodontist. It will provide you with instant care without delaying the process of your treatment. However, in a case where the patient has swallowed a piece; he/she should be taken to the ER immediately.