Occasionally, some patients will experience an injury to the mouth during treatment. Dental emergencies while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances generally fall into two categories.
Emergencies Related to Orthodontic Appliances
Sometimes, appliances might be broken or bent during your orthodontic care. If there are any disturbances, such as loose bands, loose brackets, broken or poking wires, please call our office for an appointment during patient hours. For your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle emergencies on a walk in basis. In the meantime, here are some helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter until our office can see you.
- If a tie wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with wax or try to clip it with a clean nail clipper. Use the orthodontic wax provided in your new patient kit. If you ran out and the office is closed, orthodontic wax can also be purchased over-the-counter at your local drug store or online. **Dry the area first or the wax will not stick!**
- A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until seen in our office. Call Aten Orthodontics, during patient hours, when you notice a loose band or bracket. We will schedule you to reattach the loose appliance, if indicated.
- Expanders are cemented with temporary glue to avoid damage to the teeth underneath. If you feel one side becomes loose after hours, stop turning it and call us during regular business hours to have it evaluated. If both sides become loose or the expander falls out completely, attempt to wear the expander as a removable appliance while at home. Do not wear when eating, brushing or sleeping to avoid the expander falling out during those activities. If the expander can be worn even temporarily, this may help hold the progress you have achieved up until this point and keep the appliance fitting correctly until it can be re-cemented during regular business hours.
- If your Motion appliance or buttons on your lower molars come off, discontinue wearing the prescribed elastics until we are able to advise you differently. We will then schedule you to fix the appliance as soon as possible
- If possible, please keep any broken or loose parts to your braces or appliances.
- Watch the video below that explains how to handle an orthodontic emergency.
Direct Injuries to the Mouth and Teeth
Following a direct injury to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, immediately ice the injured area and you should contact your regular dentist as soon as possible. Usually an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to determine the extent of injury. If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, it is best to contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible, after you have seen your general dentist, depending upon the comfort level of the patient.
After Office Hours
If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact our office to leave a voice message. If no one is available to response you can easily refer to your new patient folder which has all of this information. If you misplaced your folder, no worries, we also have all of this information on our Facebook and Instagram pages for our patients! Head to @aten_orthodontics and see the “Ortho Tips” Highlight at the top of our instagram page. www.instagram.com/aten_orthodontics