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You Asked, We Answered: What’s Considered an Orthodontic Emergency?

August 23, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — sblawrence @ 2:42 pm
Woman talking to orthodontist about orthodontic emergencies

While orthodontic emergencies aren’t common, they do happen. So, it’s important to know what to do and where to turn so you can get your oral health (and your treatment plan!) back on track. With this in mind, keep reading to learn a few examples of orthodontic emergencies, what to do if you experience one, and how to prevent them.

So, What Are Some Examples of Orthodontic Emergencies?

Orthodontic emergencies require urgent care from your orthodontist. But how can you tell what’s urgent and what isn’t? Ultimately, it’s a good idea to give them a call if anything feels painful or wrong. A few examples include:

  • Toothaches
  • A loose bracket
  • A broken wire
  • A poking wire
  • A broken ligature
  • Loose teeth
  • A broken or lost retainer

There are also some orthodontic emergencies that necessitate an appointment but can maybe wait a day or two if needed, like mouth sores. Soft tissue cuts and something stuck between your teeth are two other cases where the urgency depends on your specific situation, so use your best judgment to determine if you need to schedule a same-day appointment.

What To Do If You Do Experience an Orthodontic Emergency

If you do experience an orthodontic emergency, then the best thing to do is assess the damage. If it’s a loose bracket, broken wire, lost retainer, or something similar, then call your orthodontist’s office right away. From there, their team can learn more about your specific situation, guide you through the next best steps, and schedule a time for you to come into their office. If your orthodontic emergency has resulted in a potentially life-threatening symptom, like difficulty swallowing or uncontrollable bleeding, then call 911 or head to your local ER.

How To: Prevent Orthodontic Emergencies

While preventing orthodontic emergencies entirely isn’t possible, there are several best practices you can implement to reduce your chances of experiencing one, including:

  • Avoiding hard, sticky, and crunchy foods (i.e., whole apples, caramel, popcorn)
  • Brushing and flossing consistently
  • Limiting your consumption of sugary foods and drinks
  • Quitting unhealthy habits, like nail-biting and smoking
  • Attending all of your follow-up appointments with your orthodontist

Ideally, you’ll go through your entire treatment without ever experiencing an orthodontic emergency. If you do, then do your best not to panic. Instead, assess the damage and give your orthodontist a call right away!

About the Practice

Our team at Super Braces isn’t just here for routine appointments; we’re here to help with emergency treatments as well! Our highly trained orthodontist has more than 15 years of experience and prioritizes comfort at each and every appointment, ensuring your smile is in the best hands. With morning, lunchtime, and afternoon hours, we’ll also do our very best to see you as quickly as possible. If you have a question about orthodontic emergencies or you’d like to schedule an appointment, then don’t hesitate to visit our website or call (978) 794-0000.

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