Most people who wear braces undergo treatment without a single problem. However, accidents can happen. You can keep any issues at bay by engaging in a sound oral hygiene routine, avoiding hard or crunchy foods, and by scheduling regular visits with Dr. Nikaeen. All of these practices can help to reduce emergency situations to ensure treatment is successful from beginning to end.
Common Orthodontic Emergencies
If you do experience any of the emergency situations below, make sure you schedule an appointment with Dr. Nikaeen as soon as possible.
Archwire Irritation: If an archwire comes loose and begins to dig into your gums or teeth, you can attempt to shift its position by using a pencil eraser or Q-tip. If the wire is stubborn and won’t move, try to lift it away from your gums and teeth using cotton, sugarless gum, or a small piece of wax. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Nikaeen as soon as possible for a wire readjustment.
Main Wire Has Come Loose: If the primary wire has come out of the bracket on one of your back molars, you can use tweezers or a pair of needle-nosed pliers to put it back in place. If the wire isn’t bothering you, a piece of wax will keep it from irritating your gums or teeth until you can schedule a visit with Dr. Nikaeen. If the wax isn’t doing the trick, you can attempt to cut the wire with toenail clippers or wire cutters. The trick is to snip it off as close as you can to the back of the last brace. You shouldn’t do any cutting, however, until you’ve tried every other option.
A Bracket Has Come Loose: The good news in this situation is that the colored elastics surrounding the bracket will usually keep it connected to the primary wire. If you have tweezers handy, you can try to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and begins to irritate your gums or teeth. A piece of wax placed over the bracket can also provide much needed comfort until you can schedule an emergency visit.
Your Braces Break: Whether a bracket or wire has broken, save the piece, no matter how small, and call Dr. Nikaeen’s office to schedule an emergency repair.
Your Appliance is Cutting Your Mouth Tissue: When your braces or other appliances begin cutting into your gums, tongue, or the inside of your cheek, put your finger on the wound and hold it there to stop the bleeding. We also recommend applying an antiseptic anesthetic gel called BraceRelief that will be provided to you when you begin treatment. If bleeding persists, call Dr. Nikaeen immediately.
Stay Calm: If you swallow a piece of your braces or other appliance, you don’t have much to worry about. Your body will flush the piece into your stomach, and you’ll pass it during a bowel movement. However, if you experience any breathing difficulties, seek immediate medical attention.
A Rubber Spacer Fell Out: Take two pieces of dental floss and pass them through the spacer, then pull on both pieces to stretch the spacer out, and slide the spacer back into place. When the bottom half of the spacer fits under the tight spot between your teeth, remove the floss and check that the spacer is snug. If this process didn’t work for you, call the office and schedule an appointment to replace and reinsert the spacer.
Your Retainer Cracked: Take the retainer out of your mouth and bring all the pieces into the office so that Dr. Nikaeen can perform the proper repairs or give you a replacement.
Your Mouth Feels Sore: A little soreness is normal following your monthly visit. You can alleviate any discomfort by taking an over-the-counter tablet such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Tylenol. You can also rinse your mouth with a warm cup of water mixed with a teaspoon of salt. If your teeth become sore in the middle of the night, call Dr. Nikaeen for an emergency appointment.
Keep Your Appliance Clean: Using dental floss or a proxy brush can dislodge any food that may be left behind after you eat.
To learn more about orthodontic emergency care, call Nikaeen Orthodontics at (310) 444-1113 or send an email to schedule a free consultation if you live in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills.