Orthodontic Emergencies: How to Handle Broken Braces, Loose Wires, and More

For orthodontic treatment, there is always the possibility of an emergency occurring. It’s important to know what to do in an orthodontic emergency, including broken brackets, loose wires, and lost aligners. In this article, we’ll cover common orthodontic emergencies, their causes, and tips on handling them.

  1. Common Orthodontic Emergencies and Their Causes

Orthodontic emergencies can happen for various reasons, including biting into hard foods, mouth injuries, and accidental braces or wire damage. Some of the most common orthodontic emergencies include:

  1. Broken brackets: A bracket is a small metal or ceramic piece attached to each tooth with an adhesive. If a bracket becomes loose or breaks, it can cause discomfort, irritation, or injury to the soft tissues in the mouth.
  2. Loose wires: The wires that connect the brackets can become loose or shift out of place, poking into the cheeks or gums and causing irritation or injury.
  3. Lost aligners: Clear aligners are removable and easy to lose or misplace. Without proper care, they can be damaged or lost, affecting the progress of the orthodontic treatment.
  1. How to Handle Broken or Damaged Orthodontic Appliances

If you experience a broken or damaged appliance, the first step is to call your orthodontist or dentist near you. They will guide you on what to do next and may schedule an emergency appointment to repair the appliance. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage:

  1. Cover a broken bracket with dental wax to prevent irritation, and schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible.
  2. If a wire is poking or irritating your mouth, try to gently push it back into place with a cotton swab or pencil eraser. You can also cover the wire with dental wax to prevent further irritation.
  3. If a band or ligature comes loose, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible. In the meantime, dental wax can cover the area and prevent further irritation.
  1. What to Do If a Wire is Poking or Irritating Your Mouth

If a wire is poking or irritating your mouth, it’s important to address it as soon as possible. First, try to gently push the wire back into place using a cotton swab or pencil eraser. If this doesn’t work, cover the wire with dental wax to prevent it from poking or irritating the soft tissues in your mouth. Avoid cutting the wire yourself, as this can cause further damage.

  1. How to Handle a Loose Wire or Ligature

Call your orthodontist near me as soon as possible if a wire or ligature becomes loose or comes off. In the meantime, dental wax can cover the area and prevent further irritation. Avoid pulling on the wire or attempting to fix it yourself, as this can cause further damage or prolong the healing process.

  1. What to Do If You Lose an Aligner or Retainer

If you lose an aligner or retainer, contact your orthodontist immediately. They will advise you on the best course of action, which may include ordering a replacement aligner or retainer. In the meantime, continue to wear your previous aligner or retainer as directed by your orthodontist.

For various reasons, there can be emergencies with your braces, wires, or aligners. However, with proper care and attention, you can easily manage them. If you face any issues, immediately contact your orthodontist for help. In the meantime, you can use dental wax to cover any loose or broken appliances, and don’t try to fix them yourself. By doing so, you can reduce any discomfort and ensure that your orthodontics treatment goes smoothly. Remember that your dentist in Los Gatos is there to help you during any emergency, so never hesitate to ask for assistance.

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