An orthodontic emergency can be scary if you’re dealing with one for the first time. Whether it’s a loose bracket, a wire sticking or poking, or any other issue, it can be hard to think clearly and come up with a solution. Luckily, you’ll be happy to know that true orthodontic emergencies are quite rare, and that most problems that arise with your braces can be fixed on your own at home. However, you should still follow up with an appointment to make sure your problem is taken care of properly. Read below to learn about a few of the more common emergencies we see here at Pitner Orthodontics, and how you can remedy them!

Lost Separator

If you’re worried about having lost a separator, don’t worry! It’s incredibly common for patients to lose separators during their treatment. If this happens to you, simply call our office to receive a replacement.

Sore Teeth or Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

After you first get braces, and after each adjustment appointment, your teeth and mouth will most likely feel sore. This is quite common among all orthodontic patients! To help the pain subside, Dr. Pitner recommends ibuprofen. Ibuprofen (Advil) can be taken up to 4 times a day right after an adjustment. If you’d like a more natural method of alleviating the pain, gargling lukewarm saltwater also helps. Additionally, a heating pad or a warm washcloth can reduce some of the soreness around your mouth and jaw.

Wire Irritations

When a wire rubs up against your gums or cheeks, it can be painful. There are a few at-home solutions you can try if this is an issue for you. Try moving the wire away from the irritated area of your gums with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire appears to be stuck, covering the end of it with a tiny piece of cotton or dental wax will hide the sharp edge. Finally, if neither solution fails to help, cut the wire with clean scissors or nail clippers that have been sterilized in alcohol.

Loose Bracket

A loose bracket can take a huge toll on the progress of your orthodontic treatment if not addressed properly. If one of your brackets is detached from your tooth, you should first call our office to make an appointment to repair the bracket. It may be necessary to cut the wire or slide a bracket off the wire. In that case, use clean fingernail clippers that have been sterilized in alcohol.

Loose Wire

Loose wires not only slow down your treatment process, they can also irritate your gums if not addressed. Just as you would with a loose bracket, you should first make an appointment to repair the wire. The other solutions to this problem are similar to steps you would take for a wire irritation. You can cover the sharp end of the wire with dental wax, use sterilized tweezers to put the wire back in place, or use sterilized fingernail clippers to cut the wire. When cutting, make sure to cut behind the last bracket in which the wire is secured.
We hope our orthodontic emergency tips have been helpful to you. Although these tips will be beneficial during minor issues, you should always call our office and make an appointment if you feel that your orthodontic problem is a major issue. Our friendly staff is always eager to assist you. For additional information about orthodontic treatment in Columbia or Chapin South Carolina, contact us today!
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