What To Do If You Have A Braces Emergency

True emergencies with Gainesville orthodontics are rare, but when they do occur, Studio32 Orthodontics is here for you! As a general rule, call the office if you experience severe oral pain or if an appliance issue can’t be resolved without our help. Our team will schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullally to resolve the problem. We give patients our cell phone numbers for braces emergencies that occur outside regular business hours. Oftentimes, we can even work together to find a solution over the phone — call if you need us!

During a braces emergency, many patients come to the office but are surprised to learn that there are multiple temporary solutions to different braces situations — a few of the most common solutions to braces emergency are outlined below. The goal is to alleviate discomfort until Dr. Mullally is able to repair the issue during a scheduled appointment. Allowing the appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

What Is A Braces Emergency?

Instead of emergencies, the team at Studio32 Orthodontics prefers to call the following “braces situations.” With a little know-how, most situations are manageable and can provide temporary relief until your next appointment. But if the pain intensifies or you experience sudden bleeding, contact your orthodontist in Gainesville immediately.

Loose Band

The band is a metal ring placed around the back teeth that occasionally comes loose. While it can be irritating, some patients tolerate a loose band until their next appointment. But, the health of your back teeth can be affected by a long-term loose band. Loose bands can accumulate food particles and cause decay to the teeth over time. While the band is in place, it blocks bacteria and other particles from causing enamel erosion and eventually decalcification on the teeth.

Broken Braces Or Brackets

A broken bracket is generally easy to identify. If the bracket isn’t attached to the tooth, it’s broken. It may also be off-centered, rotated, or sliding with ease along the archwire. Use dental wax to secure the bracket to the tooth and call Studio32 Orthodontics to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullally.

Poking Wires

A loose or broken wire is an annoyance that causes a repairable sore spot in the cheek. But, if the wire — or any part of your braces — poke and/or protrudes enough to cause bleeding, call your Gainesville orthodontist right away. Cover the exposed end of the wire with dental wax to lessen the impact to the cheek tissue.

Loose Expander

If you have a loose expander, call Dr. Mullally, an emergency orthodontist, immediately. Don’t activate or turn the expander until Dr. Mullally has looked at the appliance and corrected the issue. Usually, the expander can be pushed back onto the tooth in the meantime.

Swallowed Elastics & Other Appliances

Consider these situations rare — but they do happen. Occasionally, bits of dental wax and a stray elastic are swallowed by patients. If you do or think you may have swallowed one of these materials, don’t panic. These items are small and will move through the digestive tract quickly.

Tips For Soothing Braces Pain During An Emergency

Whether it’s an emergency or a sudden irritation, braces pain can impact your daily activities. The team at Studio32 Orthodontics provides these three easy tips for soothing the pain and reminds all patients to not hesitate to contact our office with any questions!

Rinse With Salt Water

Rinsing with salt water daily can aid in healing sores and other tender spots created during a braces emergency. Mix one teaspoon of salt in a standard-sized glass of warm water then swish the solution inside your mouth before spitting it out.  

Use A Heating Pad

Heating pads can soothe more than sore muscles. A heating pad or warm washcloth applied to the sore spot can reduce the pain. Also, drinking warm liquids, such as tea, may provide temporary relief.

Apply Dental Wax

You’ve probably heard other braces-wearers sing the praises of dental wax and there are plenty of reasons why. Technically considered an edible product, dental wax acts as a protective barrier between oral tissue and appliances used on your braces. So when a brace emergency crops up, applying more dental wax generally eases discomfort until Dr. Mullally can repair a broken wire, for example.