On rare occasions, a patient will experience an orthodontic problem or injury to the mouth during treatment. Dental emergencies while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances generally fall into two categories: Emergencies related to orthodontic appliances; and direct injuries to the mouth and teeth.
Emergencies related to orthodontic appliances
Sometimes appliances will break or bend during your orthodontic care. If you notice any disturbances, such as loose bands, loose brackets, broken or poking wires, please call our office for an appointment during patient hours. For your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle emergencies on a walk-in basis. In the meantime, this YouTube video and the bullet points below will give you some helpful ways to take care of some of the problems you may encounter until we can see you.
- If a tie wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with beeswax or tuck it under the arch wire with a blunt object like a pencil eraser or Q-tip.
- A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until we can take a look at it. Call our office during patient hours when you notice a loose band or bracket. We will schedule you to reattach the loose appliance, if indicated.
- A broken or poking archwire can often be bent in with a pencil eraser or cut with nail clippers. Call our office during patient hours if you do not feel you can resolve the problem properly.
Direct injuries to mouth and teeth
If you injure your mouth or teeth, whether or not you are wearing braces, immediately ice the injured area and contact your regular dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will probably take an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth to determine the extent of the injury.
If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out or fractured, it is best to contact your family dentist before calling us, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If your braces are dislodged or displaced, depending on your comfort level we will need to replace or adjust them as soon as possible after you have seen your general dentist.
After Office Hours
If an orthodontic emergency arises after hours and you are in pain, please contact our office at either location for instructions on how to receive assistance:
- Hamilton: 513-737-6442
- West Chester: 513-779-0555