Bee Cave Orthodontic Emergencies
Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but you may have concerns with your braces or clear aligners that need attention. Recognizing what an orthodontic emergency is and what you can do to get relief is essential. Here’s some information to help you decide when to call Bee Cave orthodontist Dr. Tostado.
Loose or Broken Brackets
A bracket on your braces may loosen or fall off from an impact on your face while playing sports (we recommend a mouthguard) or from eating crunchy foods. Save the bracket; Dr. Tostado will reattach it during your next appointment. However, if your next appointment is too far out to wait, or you feel discomfort from the missing bracket, please call our office.
Protruding or Broken Archwire
Archwire from brackets can protrude and poke the inside of your mouth. Call our office for an appointment.
Meanwhile, you can do the following:
- Use a cotton swap or pencil eraser to push the wire back against your tooth.
- We will provide you with a supply of dental wax. Roll a small amount of this wax into a ball and put it on the wire.
- Carefully clip the wire with small nail clippers if the above options don’t work.
Loose or Broken Elastics
Small rubber bands that hold the archwire to the brackets may loosen, come off, or break. You may be able to put them back with these steps:
- Use a pair of tweezers
- Reposition the loose rubber band
- Remove the broken rubber band
Call our office to find out if you need an appointment with Dr. Tostado.
Lost or Broken Aligners
Call our office to report lost or broken clear aligners. Avoid prematurely switching to the next set because changing too soon can disrupt your treatment plan. Wait for Dr. Tostado’s instructions about which aligners to wear and when.
Lost or Broken Retainers
Your teeth will shift back to their original positions without a retainer. Call our office to order a new retainer.
Trauma or Injury to Teeth
Call your general dentist immediately whenever you have an accident or injury that damages your teeth or mouth. If the injury affects your orthodontic appliance or treatment, Dr. Tostado will be happy to help you.
Lip or Cheek Irritation
Braces may irritate your lips or cheeks when you eat. You can calm the irritation by rolling a pea-sized amount of wax and flattening over the area of the braces that rubs on your oral tissue.
If sores have already developed from irritation, you can get relief with these steps:
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
- Use a cotton swab to apply a topical anesthetic to the areas.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent further irritation.
You will only need an appointment with Dr. Tostado if the sores worsen.
Swollen or Bleeding Gums
Bleeding or inflamed gums that show signs of infection may be related to periodontal (gum disease). You may need better attention to your oral hygiene. If you need help, please call our office.
Sore Teeth and Jaws
You will feel jaw and teeth discomfort as your teeth move to the correct position, but it is usually not an orthodontic emergency.
You can expect to feel some discomfort in these situations:
- The first few days after you first get your braces or aligners
- A day or two after adjustments to the archwire
- A day or two after switching to a new set of clear aligners
- Whenever food is trapped between your teeth or under brackets and bands
You can manage the discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or taking over-the-counter ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Gently floss between your teeth or use an interdental brush to remove trapped food under your braces. Call our office if you experience persistent or unusually severe discomfort.
We Welcome You to Contact Lake Travis Orthodontics
If you are unsure what to do about a problem with your braces or aligners, call us for advice on managing the situation and preventing further complications. We want to help you keep your treatment plan comfortable and on track.