Orthodontic Emergencies

If there is obvious damage to the wires, bands and brackets of your braces, it’s important to see your orthodontist as soon as possible. If you are not in pain as a result of these problems, it’s possible to see a dental professional within the next day or two, but treatment should be prompt.

There are many causes of damage to braces, including:

  • Eating hard foods

  • Trauma to the facial area

  • Chewing inedible objects

Here is an overview of some common types of orthodontic emergencies:

Loose Brackets

Brackets are the small metal or ceramic appliances that have been attached to the teeth using dental adhesive (resin). If both the bracket and the archwire are moving, it’s probable that the adhesive has not cured correctly. This is not a true orthodontic emergency, but your orthodontist should be called promptly.

If the bracket has fallen and rotated around the archwire, place it in its proper position and use orthodontic wax as a temporary adhesive until your orthodontist reaffixes the bracket.

Loose Bands

Bands are the metal rings which have been cemented around the teeth. Loose bands pose no immediate threat, but if left untreated for several weeks, decalcification (a white spot) or tooth decay can occur. This is because the dental bonding agents normally seal the inner portion of the band from bacteria, saliva and plaque. If bacteria and saliva enter the crevice, an acidic byproduct is produced, which erodes tooth enamel.

It is important to call your orthodontist immediately for advice in the case of a loose band. Your orthodontist will reaffix the band to the tooth or replace it if it has come off the tooth entirely. If an orthodontic band has fallen out of the mouth, save the band and do not attempt to affix it yourself.

Broken or Bothersome Wires

Broken archwires are one of the most common orthodontic problems. When the archwire is broken, there is a possibility it will cause soreness or irritation to the inner cheek. In this case, use tweezers or a pencil eraser to bend the wire into a less irritating position. If the broken archwire cannot be bent out of the way, place a pea-sized piece of orthodontic relief wax over the protruding end to protect soft tissue.

These measures are only temporary solutions. Your orthodontist must be called for an appointment to replace the broken wire.

If a band, bracket or piece of wire has been swallowed, please contact your orthodontist for instructions. Fortunately, these orthodontic appliances are so small they can pass through the body without incident, but it is always preferable to seek advice.

If you have any questions or concerns about damage to your braces, please contact our office.

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Testimonials

Dr Johnson put braces on me a little over a year ago and I honestly can't say anything but good stuff about her and her staff. She's a straight shooter that shoots from the hip and tells you like it is and let's you know upfront what the process will be like and what she'll try her best to accomplish but she will tell you that she's not a magician either. For me that sealed the deal and won my business and friendship then and there. She doesn't over promise and under deliver, instead she's realistic about things and tells you she'll do her best which is all anyone can do or expect someone to do. I am extremely pleased with her best thus far and I still have a little bit left before they come off. She's made my entire process as convenient and painless as possible and I've yet to have anything break, come loose, or poke me. In fact the worst part was figuring out how to eat the first few days of having them on and not being able to bite my nails after 39 years of doing so. Dr Johnson is first class all the way around and does top notch work! I highly recommend her to anyone of any age that is needing braces. She had her work cut out for her with me when she did her initial consultation and 14 months after putting them on she's already over delivered from what I was expecting and she's not finished yet! I have no doubts whatsoever that I chose the perfect orthodontist for me everytime I look in the mirror and smile, or someone else compliments her work when I have my regular cleaning and check ups with my dentist. Siler City is a better place because of her and her services being there for those who need them!

Chris C.

Dr Johnson explain every step they are going to do. My granddaughter was not scared at all. Rosa is a very pleasant and caring person with the kids she also explains the steps that will be going on.

Betty M.

I made an appointment with Chatham Orthodontist for my 6 yr old who has an underbite and grinds her teeth. The receptionist was very friendly when I called to inquire about treatment. She explained to me how my insurance would work and what my option would be. When I arrived she was very friendly and ready for us. Dr. Johnson was great, also really friendly and very thorough. She explained what she thought best and why ans gave me a plan of action. When I mentioned my concern for my other child, she made time to fit him in for an initial consult as well. Again with him she was very thorough. The office experience was friendly and welcoming without being pushy. I left feeling very good about the care of my children’s teeth. I would definitely recommend this office!

Camila M.

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