Orthodontic emergencies aren’t common, but if something happens, it pays to know how to handle them. When you’re prepared, you can minimize discomfort and keep your treatment on track. The experienced professionals at Rad Orthodontics offer emergency orthodontic care during and after regular business hours at their offices in Potomac, Gaithersburg, Bethesda, North Bethesda, and College Park.
Until you can see them, take advantage of this guide to the most common orthodontic emergencies:
- Pain or Sores: Slight pain during orthodontic treatments, especially following an adjustment, is common, even with Invisalign®. Acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and other over-the-counter painkillers can alleviate minor discomfort. A warm compress can also help. If you have sores on the insides of your cheeks due to a loose wire, try putting wax over the tip of the wire. If that doesn’t help, you can cut the wire with sterilized nail clippers. Either way, make an appointment to see your orthodontist so they can repair or replace the wire. If your plastic Invisalign aligners are irritating your gums or cheeks, you may need to file down the edges.
- Broken Brackets or Aligners: If a metal bracket breaks, it’s usually because you ate something hard or sticky. Call for immediate emergency orthodontic care to have the bracket reattached or replaced so your treatment is not interrupted. If your Invisalign aligners break, do not throw them away. Contact your orthodontist so they can make repairs or replace the aligner. They can also replace a lost aligner.
- Lost Separators: Early in your orthodontic treatment, separators are used to create space between teeth in preparation for bands. It’s common for the separators to come out, and depending on where you are in your treatment, they may or may not need to be replaced. If you lose a separator, call your orthodontist to find out if you should come in for a replacement.
- Mouth Injuries: If you suffer any trauma to your face or mouth, you may damage your braces and teeth as well. Following serious trauma, go straight to an emergency room to get the care you need. For less serious injuries, call your orthodontist, as they may want you to come in for an exam and X-rays.
Most orthodontic pain and discomfort can be addressed with at-home remedies like aspirin and ice or heat. If you aren’t sure whether you need emergency care, call Rand Orthodontics at (301) 299-3993. After speaking with you, they can determine whether you need to be seen immediately. For non-emergency appointments, make arrangements online.