Doctor with patinet.

In life, things happen, so it’s no surprise that during the course of orthodontic treatment with braces, there may come a time where an emergency situation arises. The most important tool you can have when this happens is knowing how to handle it and what steps to take to ensure a proper solution to the problem. Here are some common issues and how to handle them.

Handling Loose Brackets and Wires on Braces

You may be in gym class and suddenly, someone accidentally hits you with a ball, causing a bracket or wire to become loose. You may even be enjoying a simple snack when one wrong bite causes trouble. In these situations, orthodontic wax can really help, especially if a wire is poking your gums. Simply place a piece of wax on the problem area and call your orthodontist for your next steps. Depending on how the wire has become dislodged, you may be instructed to take a pair of needle-nose pliers or the eraser on a pencil to guide it back into place.

If your bracket has become loose, but not detached from wire, placing a piece of wax to hold it in place may help temporarily. However, if it has come completely off, place the bracket in a small bag or envelope until it can be put back on at your next appointment. Be sure and contact your orthodontist to let them know you have a loose bracket. Depending on where it is in your mouth, they may have you come in prior to your scheduled appointment to have it replaced.

Handling General Discomfort

It’s common to have some discomfort when you first get braces, and there are a number of things you can do to help alleviate this. Sticking to soft foods is one of the best ways to help with discomfort, as well as rinsing your mouth out with a saltwater mixture if your gums are irritated and sore. Wax also comes in handy in this situation. Ask your orthodontist about ways to limit soreness at your next appointment and remember, don’t be afraid to call if you have any questions or concerns.

Handling Lost Equipment

One minute your retainer was there, the next it has vanished! Well, it may not have happened exactly like that, but lost equipment is classified as a braces emergency, so it’s important to call your orthodontist’s office to schedule an appointment to fix this problem. If your retainer has been lost, you’ll need to see your orthodontist for a new one as soon as possible.

Handling a Braces Emergency

Braces emergencies can come out of nowhere, but don’t worry. With these helpful tips, you’ll be on your way to a solution in no time. Remember to keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t panic!
  • Don’t try to fix the problem yourself without speaking to your orthodontist first
  • Call your orthodontist for next steps
  • Don’t forget about fixing the problem

Although your orthodontist may have a temporary fix for you, a permanent fix is required for maximum success. Leaving a wire loose or a bracket off for any amount of time can impact your treatment, so be sure to stick to your orthodontist’s instructions on how to handle a braces emergency.

At Charleston Orthodontic Specialists, we’re there for you during your journey to a spectacular smile. Call (843) 4-BRACES to learn more about us!