Minor Orthodontic Emergency Care

Orthodontic emergencies.When you’re looking for Laurel or Bethesda braces or any other orthodontics, we hope you’ll come visit us at Heller Orthodontics as we aim to provide the utmost in compassionate orthodontic care. While it’s our sincerest hope that all of our patients will be able to get through their orthodontic treatment without having anything problematic occur, we understand that emergencies may happen during treatment. That’s why we want you to be prepared in case anything goes wrong. Here’s a list of some of the more common emergencies and what you should do if any of them may happen to you.

Major Emergencies

There are only a few orthodontic problems that we’d consider to be major emergencies. These are:

  • Injury or trauma to the teeth, mouth, or face
  • Swelling or infection of the gums, mouth, or face
  • Severe or unmanageable pain of the teeth, gums, or mouth

If you find yourself suffering from any of those situations, it’s best to seek help as soon as possible. If you believe it’s your best option, you can go to an emergency room. Typically though, the place to start is by contacting Dr. Heller. Dr. Heller is trained to handle a wide variety of dental problems and will likely be able to offer you the necessary treatment.  You may be referred to your dentist or an oral surgeon for some problems.  

Minor Emergencies

Thankfully, the majority of orthodontic problems are only minor ones. Still, these problems may end up causing irritations or discomfort. It’s best to first try to soothe the cause of the discomfort and then call our office to schedule an appointment. A few of the more common orthodontic problems and our tips for taking care of them are as follows.

Loose or Broken Brackets, Wires, or Bands

This is often caused by eating hard or sticky foods or in some cases, just messing around with the braces. If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, just leave it alone, but don’t connect any elastics to it. If it happens to be irritating you, you can cover it with orthodontic wax. If the band or bracket has come off, save it. Whichever has occurred, be sure to call our, Laurel or Bethesda orthodontic offices to let us know what happened. We can schedule an appointment for you. Again, if there are any loose parts, make sure to bring them with you.

Misplaced or Poking Archwire, Bracket, or Tie

As your teeth begin to move, the archwire may start to poke your cheek near the back of your mouth or irritate your cheeks. First, we recommend trying to move the wire into a more comfortable position with either a Q-Tip, tweezers, or a pencil eraser. If the wire won’t move, you can try to cut the end off with scissors or a nail clipper that’s been sterilized in alcohol. Before you start, please give us a call at our office for guidance and instructions. As always, if any part of the wires or brackets are causing irritation, try covering them with orthodontic wax to lessen the discomfort.

General Tooth Pain or Loosening

If you feel that your teeth are loosening during your orthodontic treatment – don’t worry! This is perfectly normal and just shows that they’re moving into their proper position. Occasionally, this movement may be accompanied by some minor soreness or tenderness, especially after visiting your Laurel and Bethesda orthodontist for insertion or adjustment of braces. To help treat any soreness you can:

  • Take an acetaminophen (preferred) or ibuprofen (effective but can slow tooth movement).
  • Rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater rinse (one teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of warm water).
  • Place a warm washcloth or heating pad on the outside of the jaw at the area of soreness.

Contact Your Bethesda and Laurel Orthodontist!

If you believe that you’re suffering from an emergency and you’re unsure of what to do, please contact us as soon as possible. You can reach us at our Bethesda office at (301) 654-5433 or our Laurel office at (301) 490-2882. Feel free to give us a call if you have any emergencies or if you’re interested in our Laurel and Bethesda orthodontics, such as braces. We hope to make your orthodontic treatment a comfortable one!