Orthodontic Emergencies

Although one of the rarer categories of emergencies, orthodontic emergencies do occur. An emergency with your braces can take on many forms, but damage can be caused to the tissues in your mouth, your teeth, and of course the braces themselves can become damaged or completely ruined altogether. Let us take a look at the most frequent types of emergencies that can occur when one is wearing an orthodontic appliance. 

Things Becoming Loose

One of the main problems that can happen is that some part of the braces or retainers becomes loose, does not fit or comes off. This is a huge problem with orthodontic braces, not such a big issue with retainers or functional appliances, but a loose bracket or an awry archwire can cause quite a bit of damage to the enamel of teeth, the gums and periodontal tissue, and of course the mucus membranes in the mouth. Usually, brackets will become loose because the dental adhesive used gives way, and there is nothing to adhere the bracket to the tooth. Archwires can slip out of where they are being held, or one of the brackets can break or become loose, and the archwire then pops out and is a pointy object inside the persons mouth. NO fun at all. 

The other way a bracket can become loose is if the tooth underneath it falls out, becomes damaged, caves in on itself, etc. When this happens, the brace needs to be redone or recalibrated, especially if the tooth moved or has become damaged because of a trauma that has occurred. The braces should be taken off immediately if the teeth have incurred a trauma, or have shifted position suddenly. 

Things Becoming Stuck

The other large category of issues that can occur is not when things become loose or fall off, but when things get stuck in the appliance as it stands. If it is a foreign object, your brace may become damaged, and depending on the object, you may not want it attached to your mouth, and you will be forced to remove the object from your braces, even if that means ruining a bracket or two, or indeed the whole brace. The other, slightly worse situation, is when something of yours gets stuck in the braces, like your tongue or the inside of your cheeks. This is of course incredibly debilitating, very painful and is a situation that you may want to end as soon as humanly possible. Usually in the overwhelming majority of cases, these things become unstuck in just a few, agonizing minutes, but sometimes, medical intervention is needed. The worst situation that can happen, however, is when someone else’s tongue or cheeks get stuck in your braces, or if your braces become locked into each other. These situations also usually only last for a few minutes, but it can happen that medical intervention is needed to separate the two people, which of course is awkward, and extremely embarrassing.