Common Orthodontic Emergencies


There are very few “true” orthodontic emergencies. However, sometimes our patients might encounter a loose bracket, poking wire or some other problem with an appliance. Dr. Ryan Caudill adds that, “most problems can be fixed at home as this blog will show. However, if you cannot resolve it on your own, call us as soon as possible so we can schedule a repair appointment.”

  • Loose Bracket – Call the office to schedule an appointment to repair the bracket. If the bracket is attached to the wire, leave it in place and cover it with wax as needed for comfort. If the bracket comes out completely, bring it with you to your next appointment. Avoid connecting elastics to loose braces.
  • Broken or Poking Wire – If a broken wire can be removed easily, remove the broken piece. If a wire slips out of its tube, replace the wire in the tube or under the tube hook with tweezers. If the wire still pokes, try to slide it over with your finger or put wax on it until we can see you in the office. Soft wax will ease the discomfort as does a warm salt water rinse.
  • Tooth Soreness – Soreness will occur on and off during orthodontic treatment. Tylenol or Advil will help. Also, try to stick to softer foods during this time.
  • Traumatic Accidents – Use ice immediately to reduce swelling. If the teeth are displaced and don’t fit together properly, arch wires are bent, or soft tissue is stuck in the braces, call our office to schedule an appointment immediately.
  • Loose Teeth – Loosening is common, as teeth must loosen before they can move. They will tighten following appliance removal.
  • Lost Retainers – Please call our office as soon as you lose your retainers.

Dr. Angela McNeight summarizes that, “In order to keep on schedule throughout our day, please call us to schedule a repair appointment. We can continue to serve you on time with a fully dedicated staff by avoiding walk-ins. If calling during non-business hours, leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we re-open to schedule a repair appointment. If immediate care is needed, we will be available through a contact number on our voice mail.”

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