Handling Orthodontic Emergencies

Houston Orthodontist Reparing Braces at Kids Football GameUsually orthodontic emergencies for patients in braces don’t happen very often and are not very serious.  However, the discomfort from the problem with the braces can be annoying.  Below are some common problems and possible remedies to deal with the issue on a temporary basis.

Broken Braces:  A broken or loose brace is usually not urgent but sometimes it can cause a problem, so it’s best to contact our office when it occurs.  If a bracket comes off of a tooth, it’s usually still attached to the wire with an elastic.  This helps prevent it from being swallowed, but it may move around or spin on the wire.  A small amount of dental wax pressed against the bracket can help keep it from moving around.

Loose Bands:  If a band or the metal ring comes off around the tooth, there is no immediate danger.  Normally, the band is cemented to the tooth with a special adhesive that seals the inner part of the band from plaque and saliva.  If the band is loose for a long period of time (3-4 weeks), bacteria from the saliva may enter the opening between the tooth and the band and cause demineralization of the tooth (aka- the beginning of a cavity).

A Wire Poking Out: As the teeth begin to move, the wires may begin to get longer at the back of the braces.  Fortunately, this can be handled easily by placing some orthodontic was over the poking wire.  Be sure to dry the area with a towel or paper towel first, form a small of wax and then place it over the poking wire area.  This should take care of the problem until you can be seen by us.

Orthodontic Discomfort and Pain:  Some patients have no discomfort during braces and others experience more.  Discomfort tends to occur about 4-6 hours after the braces are placed or after and adjustment appointment.  We recommend an over the counter pain medication just before these appointments, giving enough time for the medication to already be in the system before pain or discomfort begins.

If you have more questions about your orthodontic emergencies, please contact the Houston Orthodontics office of Dr. Brad Jennings. Dr. Jennings is a board certified orthodontist specializing in treating children and adults with the latest Damon braces and Invisalign. Call us today at 281-497-7920.

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