E-MAIL LIST SIGN UP   |   FIRST VISIT FORM

Orthodontic Emergencies

Sometimes there will be situations with your braces that arise after your visit. Most are minor, but please don’t hesitate to call our office 780-476-6697 if you are unsure of what to do.

Here are some common problems and their solutions.

Loose or poking archwires

If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back tooth, first try to reinsert the wire yourself with a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. Remember that if the wire is poking you, or any part of your braces is causing irritation, you can place a piece of wax over the area. If you cannot reinsert the wire or it is still bothering you, please call the office and we will see you as soon as possible. As a last resort, if you are not able to make it to the office in time, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or nail clipper close to the back of the last brace. Be very careful, when you cut the wire the tip that was cut may end up going flying. Make sure you don’t swallow the bit of wire. Please call our office once you have clipped the wire so we can book you in for an appointment if necessary.

Loose brackets or bands

First, call our office and inform us of the problem so we can schedule an appointment if needed. Luckily, if a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire by either a little coloured rubber ring or a small steel ligature tie. You can use tweezers to move the bracket if it flips around the wire starts to irritate you. If a piece of your braces breaks, save the broken piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.

Lost a separator

In case a rubber spacer or separator falls out, call our office so that we can arrange to replace it for you. If it happens a day before your appointment to put on braces or bands, you don’t need to worry as your teeth won’t move that much in a short time.

Swallowed a broken piece

First, remain calm if you accidentally swallow a piece of your appliance. It is recommended you seek medical attention, particularly if it is a metal part. X-rays may be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece. It will usually travel through the digestive tract and pass out of the body in a bowel movement. However, difficulty breathing and other symptoms may be experienced, so it is best to check with a medical professional.

Broken a retainer

If a retainer cracks or breaks, stop using it immediately. Call the office to schedule an appointment as soon as possible, and make sure you bring all the pieces of the retainer when you come back to our office. The retainer may be able to be professionally repaired, or we may need to make a new retainer.

Broken the chain

If the chain breaks please contact our office to schedule an appointment so we may fix it as soon as possible. This is particularly important if you are nearing the end of treatment, as spaces may open up which will delay the removal of your braces.

Poking ligature

If a ligature is irritating you, a handy tip is to use the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip to push it away from the gums or cheek and under the wire. You can also place some wax on the ligature as needed if you are unable to eliminate the irritation. Call our office if you are unable to fix the issue, and we will schedule an appointment for as soon as possible.

Lost a doughnut

If an orthodontic tie comes off and it is not bothering you then leave it until the next appointment. However, if you are about to get your braces off and a tie comes off please call the office as it may delay the original date of when the braces come off. Use wax as needed if it does begin to bother you.

Lost a tooth

Time is very important if you lose a tooth, as after about an hour of being out of the mouth, a tooth will not likely be able to take root again. The first thing you should do is attempt to put the tooth back in the socket. If you cannot do this, immediately put the tooth in a cup of milk or water. Once you have done one of these things, call a dentist urgently. The sooner you are able to see the dentist, the better chance your tooth has of being reattached.

Major facial trauma or swelling

If you have suffered major facial trauma, go to the emergency room immediately or contact your dentist. The first priority is to ensure there is no damage to the jaw joint, or any broken bones in the face. If your braces were broken in the event, please call the office so we can schedule an appointment to assess the damage.

Swelling with difficulty breathing

If you are experiencing swelling and difficulty breathing, contact 911 immediately. This can be very serious and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

Sore teeth or gums

If your teeth or gums are sore because food has become stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food. If you accidentally cut your gums, tongue or inside of your cheek, just apply pressure with your finger to the bleeding site for several minutes. If the bleeding doesn't stop, call your family dentist or our office.

For a natural remedy for sore teeth or gums, rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt can be very soothing.

You can also take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if your teeth ache from your braces after your appointment.

Minor irritations and canker sores will heal much quicker if you apply a topical mouth sore pain reliever product like Zylactin Mouth Sore Gel or Colgate Orabase, according to the manufacturers' directions. You can purchase it over the counter at most pharmacies and convenience stores.

*Please consult your physician before taking any medications, particularly if you have any history of allergic reactions.*

However, if your teeth get sore suddenly in the middle of the month, please give us a call as soon as possible. It is unusual for the teeth to get sore several weeks after your last office visit, so it may be a symptom of something more serious.