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Orthodontic Emergencies – Chicago, IL

Helping Your Orthodontic Treatment Stay on Track

girl braces orthodontic emergency

At Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, we understand that life happens. Although you would love your orthodontic treatment to go as smoothly as possible, you may run into some challenges along the way. In fact, you may experience an orthodontic emergency. But you don’t have to worry! Dr. Dale and our team are here to help if you need professional attention or assistance. We do our best to see emergency patients as soon as possible, keeping any delays in your treatment to a minimum.

Why Choose Chicago Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics for Orthodontic Emergencies?

  • Dedicated Orthodontist with Years of Training and Experience
  • Children and Adults Treated
  • Dental Insurance Accepted

How Can I Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies?

woman smiling braces mouthguard

In some cases, orthodontic emergencies are not preventable. However, many times they are! Here are some steps you can take to avoid problems during your orthodontic treatment:

  • Brush and floss every day.
  • Attend your appointments with Dr. Dale and with your regular dentist.
  • Wear a mouthguard when playing sports where contact can happen.
  • Follow the dietary and care instructions Dr. Dale gives you.

What Are the Best Ways to Care for Braces/Retainers at Home?

teen boy orthodontic emergency

If you run into trouble with your orthodontic treatment, you can always contact our office if you need advice. You may be able to deal with the situation on your own or require our help. Below are some examples of orthodontic emergencies and how you can handle them.

Stuck Food or Debris

Before you brush or floss, rinse your mouth with water. Then, depending on where the stuck food is, you can gently floss in between your teeth or use your toothbrush to remove it from the bracket. If these attempts don’t work, do not try to use a sharp object to get the debris out. Instead of potentially harming your teeth or gums, call our office for assistance.

Ligature Damaged or Fallen Off

Ligature is another term for the rubber bands that secure the wire to the bracket. If one of these ligatures comes off intact, you may be able to put it back on with sterile tweezers. However, if it is broken, you’ll need to come in. Plus, problems with one ligature could mean that others could break as well.

Dental Pain or Discomfort

Don’t be surprised if you experience soreness or discomfort after your braces have been placed or adjusted. This common pain typically subsides after a day or two. In the meantime, you can eat soft foods that are gentle on your teeth. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication as directed and rinse your mouth with warm saltwater.

Oral Soft Tissue Sores, Irritation, or Inflammation

Although your brackets do not cause mouth sores, they can irritate soft tissues and make sores much more uncomfortable. At home, you can apply a topical anesthetic directly on the sore surface to relieve some of your discomfort. If you have a bracket that irritates your lips or cheeks, especially while you eat, you can apply dental wax to its edges.

Loose or Poking Wires

Sometimes, the end of the wire can stick out and poke the cheek tissue. In some cases, you may be able to use a cotton swab to push the wire so it is flush with the tooth. Otherwise, you can put a dab of dental wax on the end to keep it from irritating the tissue. However, you should also call our office and let us know about the problem.

Loose Bracket

Brackets are bonded to your teeth using a special adhesive, and if a bracket comes loose, you need to call our office and see Dr. Dale right away. To prevent swallowing the bracket or some other injury, you can use sterile tweezers to reposition the bracket in the center of the tooth until you come.

Swallowed Piece of Appliance

It doesn’t happen often, but swallowing a bracket or other orthodontic piece is possible. If this has occurred, try to remain calm and call us immediately. Monitor breathing to make sure the piece hasn’t been aspirated.

Facial Trauma

If you suffer from an impact to the face, check to make sure that you haven’t broken any facial bones. In that case, you need to go to the emergency room. Next, check for knocked-out teeth, damage to your brackets, and other injuries. Then call us for the next available appointment so that we can make any adjustments to keep your treatment headed in the right direction.