Orthodontic Emergencies

At first, orthodontic treatment may take a little getting used to. It isn’t uncommon to experience a bit of soreness when appliances are first put on, or some minor aches as teeth begin moving into new positions. This is normal and should not cause you any alarm. Genuine orthodontic emergencies are very rare.If you think you may have an emergency, however, the first step is to determine the severity of the problem: Is it an urgent situation that requires immediate attention, or a minor problem that you can take care of yourself temporarily until you can come in to our Dublin office? Continue reading below to clarify the difference.

Major Emergencies

  • Trauma or injury to the teeth, face or mouth
  • Infection or swelling of the gums, mouth or face
  • Severe, unmanageable discomfort or pain in these areas

In any of these situations you should seek help from your trusted dentist as soon as possible. If, for example, you have a fractured tooth, you will require immediate diagnosis and treatment. Afterwards your orthodontic treatment plan can be adjusted as needed. Likewise, severe pain or swelling could be a sign of infection or an oral disease, which would also need immediate treatment from a dentist.

Minor Troubles

Fortunately, the vast majority of orthodontic problems are minor compared to the preceding situations, but they may still cause discomfort or irritation. In general, it’s best to try and soothe the immediate cause of discomfort yourself and then call your Dublin dentist for a follow up appointment. See below for a few of the more common orthodontic problems, along with tips on what you can do to relieve them at home.

Loose or Broken Brackets, Bands, or Wires

Patients sometimes experience this problem if they eat hard or sticky candy or food, or play with their braces. If you experience this problem, if the band or bracket is still attached to the wire then leave it as is but don’t connect any elastics to it. You can cover it with orthodontic wax if it’s irritating the inside of your mouth. Although, if the band or bracket has come off, save it. In either case, contact our Dublin dentistry to let us know what happened and we will schedule an appointment for you.

Misplaced or Poking Archwire, Bracket, or Tie

As your teeth start to move the wire that connects them (archwire) may begin poking near the back of the mouth or irritating the cheeks. You can try moving the wire into a better position with a pencil eraser or a Q-Tip. If the wire won’t move, you may be able to cut the end off with a nail clipper sterilized in alcohol. Often, you can also use tweezers to gently move a misplaced wire or a tie that’s causing problems. However, before proceeding with these options, please call our Dublin office for guidance and instructions.

When wires or brackets cause irritation, covering the metal parts with wax can also often help ease discomfort. Though, as with any of these types of problems, it’s best to make an appointment with our Dublin dentistry so it can be taken care of professionally.

General Tooth Pain or Loosening

It’s normal for teeth to become slightly loosened during orthodontic treatment; this is a sign that they are moving. Sometimes this movement may be accompanied by feelings of tenderness, especially after braces are placed or adjusted.

For minor soreness, you can use your regular over-the-counter pain reliever. A twice-a-day salt-water rinse may also help. This involves mixing one teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and then rinsing for 30 seconds. A warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw can also offer some relief.

Contact Your Dublin Dentistry Now!

While actual orthodontic emergencies are rare, our dentistry aims is to make orthodontic treatment as comfortable as possible for you. So if you have any questions or require any dental or orthodontic assistance, please contact our Dublin office and we would be happy to help you!