Orthodontic Emergencies

Stuff happens, and sometimes it makes a mess of things. We absolutely get that, and are here for you when you need us. We’ve got our hours and numbers all conveniently listed so that you don’t have to worry any more than necessary.

Sometimes, though, stress is due more to uncertainty than anything. We don’t want you to be stressed, and we don’t want you to panic. In order to help you feel comfortable and confident about your situation, here are some tips and guidelines.

What IS an Orthodontic Emergency?

  • First and foremost, if you or someone you care about has been involved in an accident or injury that has damaged the face, call your general dentist asap, or head straight to urgent care. Yes, even if braces are involved.
  • We will need to eventually assess the effect this injury has had on the adjustment process, but we are not equipped for emergency tooth repair or the treatment of injured tissues.
  • If your braces have been severely damaged, then that is an orthodontic emergency. Call us right away.
  • If a wire or bracket has shifted or broken in such a way that it is causing pain and/or bleeding, and it cannot be resolved by clipping the wire, tucking it back, or covering it with dental wax, then this does constitute an orthodontic emergency.

What is NOT an Emergency?

Minor damage to braces, unexpected scheduling conflicts, and general questions are not emergencies. All of these categories are things that can be addressed during regular business hours. If you have experienced any of the following, please call during the regular hours and by way of regular means.

  • Broken bracket
  • Loose pieces such as bands, ties, brackets, or wires.
  • Lost rubber bands
  • Lost keys
  • Lost or broken retainer
  • Scheduling conflict
  • Account questions

Tips and Tricks

When you are having trouble with your orthodontic equipment, but not in an emergency fashion, these are things you can do to make life a little easier while you wait.

  • If a wire is irritating your mouth, try some of the products listed over on our tools and tips page. Orthodots or Gishy Goo are great for this problem.
  • Try tucking the loose or broken wire under the arch wire. We recommend using a blunt object like a pencil eraser.
  • A loose band or bracket will generally not cause any harm. Don’t stress too much about it, schedule an appointment, and we’ll get it taken care of when you come in.
  • If the problem is with a broken archwire, try bending it with a pencil eraser.
  • If that doesn’t work, it can be cut with nail clippers.
  • Feel absolutely free to call our office during patient hours!