Orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but if they happen, we are here to help you. Many times they occur when excessive force is placed on the brackets, and the bond between the tooth and the braces breaks. To reduce the chance of such emergencies, always wear a protective mouth guard when playing contact sports. Also try to avoid hard, crunchy, chewy foods such as ice, hard candy, nuts, hard breads, taffy, and caramel. Regardless of why the orthodontic emergency has occurred, please call our Laurel Canyon Blvd. office in Valley Village at (818) 980-5300 as soon as possible, so that we can take care of the emergency and repair the damaged appliances. In the meantime, the following page has several helpful steps you may take to alleviate the discomfort until you can come into the office. You may also watch the video below to help as a visual aid in taking care of your orthodontic emergency.
As the teeth move the wires sometimes become too long or short. This may result in the wire poking you in your cheeks. Try to bend the wire toward your teeth by using a blunt instrument such as the end of a pencil with an eraser. If you are unable to do that, you may cut the wire flush to the closest bracket by using a clean nail clipper or a small cutter. The simplest solution may be to place a small piece of orthodontic wax over the poking wire until you come to our office, so that we may take care of the irritation for you.
Broken bracket or band:
When a bracket or band has broken off of the tooth, it is usually still attached to the main arch-wire. The bracket has a special clip that latches on the arch wire. You will know that the bracket is loose by seeing it “wiggle” or move. If the loose bracket is not bothering you, simply call our Valley Village office at (818) 980-5300 to schedule an appointment to repair the loose bracket as soon as possible. If the loose bracket is poking you, then place a piece of orthodontic wax over the broken bracket until you can come in for your appointment. Do not attempt to wear a headgear or attach a rubber band to a loose bracket or band.
If your spacer comes out, it usually means that a space between the contact areas of your teeth has opened. If this happens right before your scheduled appointment, it usually does not need to be replaced. If the spacer comes out soon after it has been placed, you will most likely need to come into the office to have it replaced. Please call our Valley Village orthodontic office at (818) 980-5300 so that we can guide you through the proper steps.
Sometimes your teeth may get sore after an orthodontic adjustment is done. You may take Tylenol or Advil to help alleviate the soreness. You may also do warm salt water rinses to reduce the soreness in your gums and jaws. If the soreness lasts more than one week, call our Valley Village orthodontic office.
Bleeding in your gums is usually an indication of a local irritation or infection. This is usually caused by plaque build-up from poor brushing and flossing. Make sure you brush your teeth at least four times a day and after each meal. You should floss your teeth at least once a day. Electric tooth brushes with timers , water- picks, and mouth rinses such as Listerine Total Care, in conjunction with seeing your general dentist every 3-6 months for cleanings, and checkups can be useful tools in eliminating bleeding gums. If you have persisting bleeding gums, call our Valley Village office at (818) 980-5300 as soon as possible.