Top 5 Most Common Orthodontic Emergencies

There are specific emergencies that only affect orthodontic patients, and there are a bunch of things to be aware of. You will be given a list of foods to avoid, and these are not just polite recommendations: eating these foods puts you at a risk of having a bracket loose or of having to restart the entire procedure from the very beginning. But trauma to the mouth or just bad adhesives can also see one of the emergencies from this list. These are the most common orthodontic emergencies, and the ways in which you can minimize the damage.

1) Wire comes loose

The most common problem is a wire coming out of the bracket and poking your soft tissues. The wires run through the brackets, but sometimes they can break or the bracket can malfunction, or the wire can be pulled out by force or by being stuck to something. The most important thing to do is to make sure that the wire isn’t scraping your teeth or poking your cheeks. Take a bit of orthodontic wax and coat the end of the wire to dull the point. After this, call your orthodontist for an appointment ASAP, as the wire will need to be put back in.

2) Bracket comes off

The adhesives may let go and the bracket may come loose or may even come off of the tooth surface entirely. This is a problem because it creates a situation in which the bracket is floating about in the mouth, the wire may come loose, the bracket may become stuck in things and worst of all, the occlusal forces of orthodontic treatment are not exerted onto the tooth where the bracket is missing from. This means that the treatment is temporarily on hold. You must book an appointment to get the bracket re-adhered immediately, in order to continue the treatment as planned.

3) Cheek, tongue or lips get caught in brackets

Your tongue or cheek can get caught in the brackets of your orthodontic appliance. This is mostly a problem that beginners, those who are not yet used to wearing orthodontic appliances tend to encounter. If anything gets caught, try to remove it gently, as using too much force can damage your soft tissues and the orthodontic appliance as well. If you cannot, you should go to an emergency room ASAP, as this can cause damage, and the situation needs to be resolved immediately.

4) Braces lock together

Also a problem experienced mostly by beginners, sometimes the brackets can get locked together. You need to be putting your teeth at a strange angle to get this to happen, but depending on the appliance you are using, your brackets can get entangled, and the wire can get caught in a different bracket. This is a big problem and needs immediate medical attention. Usually, only a dentist will be able to provide a satisfactory solution, but if none are available, you will have to go to an emergency room.

5) Tooth is damaged or broken from trauma

If any trauma to the mouth is experienced, even if the patient “feels fine” afterwards, an emergency appointment must be booked to your orthodontist as soon as s/he may be available. The brackets will need to be changed if the appliance or the teeth underneath them are damaged, and the occlusal forces will need to be redirected. It is no good to have an appliance that is not doing anything, or is perhaps damaged and may cause injury or improper distribution of force on your teeth.

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