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Orthodontic Emergencies – Brandon, SD

Don’t Let Your Treatment Get Interrupted

In the event that you experience something wrong with your orthodontics, we ask that you call Wehrkamp Dental as soon as possible for care. The sooner you call our practice, the sooner you can get seen by one of our dental professionals. In the event that you are attending a routine checkup, please let us know where the damaged portion of your braces is located. The last thing we want is for you to experience an interruption in your orthodontic care, so we will make sure to get back to you as soon as we can if you call outside of our regular business hours.

How to Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies

A woman smiling with traditional metal braces.

Thankfully, practicing a few tips throughout you day is all you need to do to keep orthodontic emergencies to a minimum.

  • Do not eat foods that are hard, sticky, chewy, or could otherwise get stuck in your wires.
  • Brush twice a day using fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily to prevent cavities.
  • If you play contact sports, wear a custom-made mouthguard.
  • Visit our office regularly to catch orthodontic issues before they turn into dental emergencies.

Best Tips for Orthodontic Maintenance at Home

A young man with an orthodontic emergency in Brandon.

Flossing is crucial to keeping food out of your braces. To ensure your braces are fully cleaned, draw the string underneath your archwire and over the upper part of each of your teeth. You may also find it helpful to purchase an interdental toothbrush and use that instead. Proxy brushes can also be quite useful for keeping your teeth consistently clean through your orthodontic treatment. Once the braces come off and you are now wearing a retainer, make sure to clean it of all food debris using a toothbrush and water or a dedicated cleanser. After soaking, make sure to rinse it with water before placing it back into your mouth.

Food Caught in Braces

When food gets caught in your braces, take an 18-inch strand of floss or a proxy brush and gently remove the debris, making sure not to damage your brackets or archwire. This is a relatively common fix that shouldn’t need emergency care.

Damaged of Removed Ligature

Also referred to as elastics, ligatures refer to the tiny rubber bands that are designed to keep wires attached to the orthodontic brackets in your braces. While you can use tweezers to place your ligature back on your bracket, you should call us if they never seem to stay on.

Dental Discomfort or Chronic Pain

Immediately after your braces are placed, you’ll need to adjust to them for a short period of time. This adjustment period may include some mild soreness or discomfort for the next few days. To relieve soreness, you can use wax, over-the-counter painkillers, or warm washcloths.

Irritation or Inflammation of Soft Tissue

After your braces are put on, you may feel some irritation in your gums, lips, or cheeks, but this is normal. In about a week, your mouth should fully adjust. You can rinse your mouth with salt water or place dental wax over sensitive areas for the time being.

Poking or Loose Wires

Orthodontic wires that are too long can easily poke the gums or cheek. At home, you may find it easier to redirect the wire with a toothbrush or the eraser end of a pencil if that’s what you have available. Please call our office if you are unable to redirect the wire on your own. In the meantime, placing dental wax over the wire is a great solution for managing discomfort and protecting your oral tissue.

Loose Brackets

Got a loose bracket? Start by calling our office right away. If the bracket is still attached to the archwire, leave it alone and use wax to put any discomfort at ease. If the bracket comes off, you can slide it off, place it in a safe container, and bring it to your next appointment.

Facial Trauma

Get in touch with our office right away if your face or mouth experience physical trauma. At your appointment, we can confirm the damage of your appliance and perform repairs as needed. Keep in mind that you should visit the emergency room if any heavy bleeding occurs or you have a broken jaw.

Accidentally Swallowing Piece of Appliance

Most patients will not swallow their brackets while undergoing treatment, but it can happen. If this does occur, have someone look inside your mouth to see if they can spot the loosened portion of your appliance. You can also check your mouth yourself in the mirror. If you begin to cough after confirming the piece of the appliance is gone, go to the emergency room right away.

Cost of Treating Orthodontic Emergencies

A young girl with braces receiving an exam from dentist.

In order to determine the price of your emergency treatment, we need to perform an exam to confirm the damage that was done and the pieces of your appliance that need to be replaced or repaired. Until that happens, it can be very difficult to know for sure what your treatment will cost. Whether you have insurance or are in need of in-office financing, we’ll help you build a treatment plan that’s within your budget, so don’t put off care simply because of a price tag.