Orthodontic Emergencies


Orthodontic emergencies.It’s unfortunate to say, but despite the best efforts of everyone, from orthodontists to patients, an orthodontic emergency still has the potential to occur. While thankfully these emergencies are rare, it’s still important to know what to do in case one happens to you. As your trusted providers of braces and other orthodontic systems in Waukegan, IL, we at Kattner Orthodontics have a quick rundown of the more common types of emergencies and what you should do in each scenario.

A Major Emergency

Thankfully, there are just a few major orthodontic emergencies that can happen to a patient. These are:

  • Trauma or injury to the teeth, face or mouth
  • Swelling or infection of the gums, mouth or face
  • Severe pain or discomfort in the mouth or face

If any of these situations occur to you it’s vital for you to seek help as soon as you can. If you believe that it’s your best option you might even want to head to an emergency room. However, the best place to typically start is by going to see your orthodontist or dentist. We are trained to help with a number of dental problems and will likely be able to provide you with the treatment that you need.

Minor Emergencies

While the majority of orthodontic problems that occur are minor, they can still cause irritation, inconvenience, or discomfort. In these circumstances, it’s best to soothe the cause of discomfort and then give us a call to schedule an appointment. By calling us beforehand, we’ll be able to plan out a sufficient amount of time needed to take care of you. Here are a few of the common minor orthodontic problems along with our recommendations for what you should do if you encounter them.

Misplaced or Poking Archwire, Bracket, or Tie

As your teeth are moving the archwire can start to poke you near the back of your mouth. We recommend attempting to move the wire into a better position by using a pencil eraser or a Q-Tip. If the wire doesn’t move you may be able to cut the end of the wire off with a nail clipper that has been sterilized in alcohol. Before you attempt to do this though make sure to give us a call for guidance and instructions. Also, if the wires or brackets are causing discomfort, you can always cover the metal parts with orthodontic wax which will usually ease any irritations.Misplaced or poking archwire, bracket or tie.

Loose or Broken Brackets, Bands, or Wires

Waukegan OrthodontistThis typically occurs when a patient eats food that he or she isn’t supposed to during orthodontic treatment. Examples might include hard or sticky foods. If this happens and the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it alone and make sure not to attach any elastics to it. If it’s irritating your mouth, you can cover it with orthodontic wax. Next, give us a call at our office to let us know and we’ll schedule an appointment for you.

General Tooth Pain or Loosening

If you notice that your teeth are starting to become slightly loose during your orthodontic treatment – don’t worry! This is actually completely normal and it just shows that your teeth are moving toward their proper positions. Occasionally, this movement may be accompanied by some soreness or tenderness, especially just after the braces have been placed or adjusted. Over-the-counter pain medications should take care of this minor discomfort.

Contact Your Orthodontist Near Gurnee

If you find yourself having one of these orthodontic emergencies or you’re suffering from another problem that you think may be an emergency, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (847) 244-7900. If you’re simply interested in orthodontic treatment, feel free to give us a call or fill out our appointment request form to schedule a consultation. We’re looking forward to your visit!