What to Do With an Orthodontic Emergency

What to do with an orthodontic emergency? Here’s what you need to know.

Occasionally, a bracket or wire comes loose for those who are wearing braces. If your orthodontic appliance comes loose or breaks, call us at 914-739-6400. By calling ahead, we can create a time to see you and help resolve any issues as soon as possible.

For orthodontic emergencies that need attention immediately, Dr. Glaser is here for our patients. Please call the number above and listen for instructions if we are not in the office.

In the rare instance that Dr. Glaser is out of town, we will arrange for a covering orthodontist to help.

Below, Dr. Glaser discusses what to do in an orthodontic emergency. Also, there is more information here. Next, we’ll look at some easy things to do at home if you can’t immediately see the orthodontist.

What to Do From Home for an Orthodontic Emergency

If you are out of town and can’t get to the office, there are some easy things to do in the event of a loose bracket or broken wire.

If Your Teeth are Sore Immediately After Braces

For the first four or five days after getting braces, your mouth and teeth may be more sensitive. If so, we recommend biting on a TheraBite Bite Pad, as provided in your Survival Kit.

Biting on the TheraBite can significantly reduce tenderness and soreness. Additionally, an over-the-counter medicine as your doctor allows can help with the temporary discomfort. For example, non-aspirin pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) generally help. 

Please avoid ibuprofen (Advil), and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pain relievers as these can actually slow down tooth movement. A warm washcloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

During the first week, in particular, it’s important to stick to soft foods like soups, yogurt, and ice cream. However, some people may be cold-sensitive to ice cream for a time. Also, cool drinks and smoothies can help with any inflammation.

See more about what to eat with braces in our recent blog.

What to Do for Poking Wires

For a wire poking inside your mouth, orthodontic wax is helpful for temporary relief. Simply take a pea-sized ball of orthodontic wax and place it on the area where the wire is poking out. If no wax is available, a piece of cotton will suffice.

Sometimes, you need to move a wire away from an irritated area. If so, you may be able to use a cotton swab or eraser to move the wire gently. 

If your braces are rubbing against the mouth and causing a canker sore, try placing a piece of wax over the sensitive area on your braces. Also, we recommend using Canker-X ointment, provided when you receive your braces. It’s also widely available at most retailers.

In rare instances when cutting or moving a wire is necessary at night or over the weekend, see instructions here.

What to Do for Sharp Aligner Edges

Similarly, orthodontic wax can help those with Invisalign. If the edge of your aligner is irritating your mouth, place a small rolled-up piece of wax along the edge to ease irritation. Also, it’s easy to use an Emory board to very gently file down any sharp edges at the edge of the aligner.

What to Do for Loose Braces

Sometimes, a braces bracket can come loose, particularly if you eat hard, sticky, chewy, or hard foods. Similarly, if you chew on a foreign object, such as a pencil, braces can come loose. 

See more about which foods to avoid with braces and Invisalign here.

Should a bracket come loose on a weekday, give us a call at 914-739-6400. If it happens on the weekend, and it’s not too uncomfortable, then you may be able to come in on Monday. In the meantime, use orthodontic wax to cover the loose bracket. However, feel free to call if you are having discomfort.

We hope this information about what to do with an orthodontic emergency is helpful. At Glaser Orthodontics, a positive patient experience is of utmost importance to our practice. So, we will always do all we can to help in the rare event of an orthodontic emergency.

See more from Dr. Barry Glaser below: