Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but they happen – and our team is here for you if you experience one. Our goal is to see you as soon as possible, so we can remedy the situation and continue your journey to a beautiful new smile.
Fortunately, most situations can be resolved with orthodontic wax and a visit to our office.
What is considered an orthodontic emergency?
- Archwire pops out of place
- Loose or broken braces bracket
- Soreness due to poking wires or metal pieces
- Broken or misplaced appliance
- Lost, cracked, or broken clear aligners
- Tooth pain or soreness
If you experience a true emergency that is not a common orthodontic emergency, we urge you to contact us ASAP. One of our doctors will be sure to set up a time for an emergency orthodontic appointment!
How to Handle an Orthodontic Emergency
If you experience one of these situations, just give us a call as soon as possible and we’ll schedule an emergency orthodontic appointment. We want to get you taken care of as soon as possible, because your comfort and safety are our top priorities.
We have a doctor on call 24/7 to handle our patients’ after hour needs!
Just call our office and you’ll be prompted to follow instructions for an emergency.
In the meantime, we have tips to make you more comfortable until you can visit us.
Poking Wires, Braces or Orthodontic Appliances
How to fix a poking wire on braces: If your braces wire pops out of place or you have a metal piece bothering you, grab some orthodontic wax. Orthodontic wax (also called dental wax) can be placed over the metal piece or poking wire to serve as a temporary cushion until you’re able to visit us.
If a wire pops out of place, try to push the wire back into the bracket. Use clean tweezers or a clean pencil eraser to push the wire back into the bracket. You can also try to clip the loose section of the wire off with a clean pair of nail clippers, then cover the end of the wire with ortho wax.
Loose or Floating Bracket on Braces
If your braces bracket becomes loose and detaches from your tooth entirely, try to place it in a ziploc bag. If you can’t find the bracket, that’s okay. Just give us a call, and your orthodontist will advise you on the best plan of action moving forward.
If you have a floating bracket on your braces and it’s still attached to your wire, be extra careful if it looks like it can slide off the wire. Take some orthodontic wax, and place it over the floating bracket to temporarily attach it back to the tooth. This way, the bracket won’t bother your cheeks and you’re less likely to swallow the bracket. If it is the last bracket and it looks like it can slide off the wire, go ahead and carefully slide it off and place in a ziplock bag for your repair appointment. Then place some wax over the end of the wire or with a clean pair of nail clippers, cut the end of the wire if possible.
If you do happen to swallow your braces bracket, don’t panic. It happens! The swallowed bracket will likely go straight to your stomach with the rest of your food, and pass naturally. If you experience a severe stomach ache, breathing problems, or any unusual symptoms, go to the emergency room.
How long can you go with a loose bracket? While a loose bracket is not an urgent situation, it does require your orthodontist’s attention as soon as possible. In other words, you don’t need to drop everything and hightail it to our office, but you should make it a priority to contact us for an appointment within the week! We don’t want a loose bracket to hinder your treatment progress.
Tooth Pain or Soreness
It’s normal for you to experience some minor soreness or tooth wiggling while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. Over-the-counter pain relievers, like Tylenol® or Ibuprofen, can help to alleviate the soreness.
Opt for a soft food diet during your first week with braces, to help minimize the soreness. See our Life With Braces tips for soft food ideas!
You can also gargle some salt water for relief. Mix one teaspoon of salt into eight ounces of lukewarm water. Gargle the solution for at least 30 seconds, then spit it out and repeat until the cup is empty. Salt water mix is a safe, natural solution that helps to disinfect the mouth and ease inflammation.
If you experience persistent pain in your mouth, and over the counter pain relievers or saltwater rinses aren’t helping, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We want to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy, and that your treatment is on the right track.
Broken or Missing Invisalign Clear Aligner or other Appliance
If you happen to break your retainer, Invisalign clear aligners, or another appliance, please contact us as soon a possible. If it is broken but is not causing discomfort and feels like it fits ok, please continue to wear it. Once you contact us, we will give you further instructions. If the broken appliance is painful, do not continue to wear it. Please feel free to text us a picture of whatever is broken to help us give you further instructions. Please put your broken appliance in a ziploc bag and bring it with you to your appointment.
If you have a broken or missing Invisalgn clear aligner, it is super important you continue to wear something. You may go back to your previous Invisalign aligner or move on to the next one. However, it is of the upmost importance that you contact our office within a couple days.
If you lost your retainer, please give us a call or text and we’ll schedule the earliest appointment with you. We want to replace the appliance before your teeth move and your results are compromised!
Have questions about how to handle an orthodontic emergency?
We want to answer your questions! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at any time.
Our team is dedicated to providing the highest quality of personalized care – in a relaxing and positive environment. We bring you a blend of the latest and most efficient orthodontic technology in the area.
Begin your journey today by requesting your free orthodontic exam with the area’s leading orthodontists in Melbourne, Merritt Island, or Viera. Come experience the vibes!