While uncommon, orthodontic emergencies do happen, so it’s important to be prepared and know how to best handle the situation. At Hodnett Orthodontics, our team is here to help. If you think you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency, please call us right away at (704) 543-5000.

Minor Orthodontic Emergencies

Here are minor (and common!) issues that you may face, as well as what you can do to remedy the problem.

Poking Wires

If you recently had braces or some other orthodontic appliance attached to your teeth, chances are you’re already a little sore from the new feeling in your mouth. When you’re already dealing with these issues, there’s nothing worse than waking up to find that you’re being poked in the mouth by a loose wire!

Thankfully, you can temporarily resolve the issue by moving the wire using tweezers or a cotton swab. You could even sterilize a pair of nail clippers and then have a family member clip down the wire to prevent it from poking.

To alleviate further poking, cover the wire with a small ball of orthodontic wax. During your next trip to our office, be sure to discuss the wire issue so that you can get a permanent fix.

Loose Bracket, Wire, Or Band

Loose brackets, wire, and elastic bands are often issues caused by eating sticky or hard food like candy. The issue can also be caused by playing with your braces or brushing too vigorously.

If the bracket or band is still attached to the wire, leave them as is. To prevent discomfort, cover the problematic area using orthodontic wax until your next appointment.

Broken Retainer

The sound of a crushed retainer is one that will stick with you! It’s not uncommon to step on dropped or misplaced retainers, but once you’re over the shock of having crushed your retainer, the first thing you want to do is to examine it.

If the appliance isn’t in pieces, put it on your teeth and see how it fits. In the best-case scenario, you didn’t break the retainer but instead bent it out of shape. If the retainer is extremely loose, you’ll want to contact our office for a replacement.

General Soreness

While you’re likely to experience discomfort and general tooth and gum pain after having an orthodontic appliance placed on your teeth, you may also experience some discomfort throughout the length of your treatment. Though frustrating to deal with, soreness is a sign that your teeth are shifting!

When your teeth start to move, they often cause discomfort and overall tenderness in your mouth. For general pain, use over-the-counter pain relievers. You may also use a dental gel to help minimize localized pain.

Other tips to minimize discomfort include rinsing with salt water and using a heating pad on the jaw.

Preventing Minor Issues

To minimize and even prevent minor orthodontic issues, one of the best things you can do is to follow all instructions that were given to you for properly wearing and taking care of your appliance. It’s also important to brush your teeth on a daily basis and avoid eating sticky or hard foods that may cause your appliance to become loose or cause general soreness.

It’s also a good idea to create a mini orthodontics care kit that you can carry with you. Your kit should include sterilized nail clippers, orthodontic wax, a mouth mirror, extra elastic bands, and any instructions we give you. This way, if you’re away from home, you can apply a quick fix until you can visit our office.