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woman with braces in pain

Emergency Orthodontic Care in San Antonio

woman with braces in pain

Now that you’ve had your braces put on, you’re probably looking forward to achieving the straight smile you’ve always wanted. Your orthodontist has most likely told you that you will probably experience a little bit of soreness or discomfort after having your braces or aligners put on or adjusted. He or she also probably explained that this is being caused by your teeth shifting into new positions by your orthodontic treatment appliance.

While you expect to feel soreness at first, what happens when something unexpected occurs during your treatment? For example, what if you’re playing soccer and another player hits you in the jaw with an elbow? What if that injury causes your braces to break?

Genuine orthodontic emergencies aren’t common, but they are events that you need to be prepared for. When an emergency involving your orthodontic appliance occurs, you need to determine how serious the problem is. Are you experiencing a problem that requires immediate medical attention at an emergency room? Or is it something that you can temporarily deal with at home until you can see your orthodontist?

Don’t ignore pain or discomfort caused by your orthodontic treatment. Get in touch with our office to see an orthodontist at your earliest convenience.

Is My Issue Truly an Orthodontic Emergency?

As mentioned earlier, orthodontic emergencies aren’t typical. There are, however, a number of unexpected issues that can happen during the course of your orthodontic treatment. These issues can cause discomfort and pain. Fortunately, these types of issues are also able to be treated by one of our orthodontists during our regularly scheduled office hours.

Loose or Broken Brackets, Bands, or Wires

If you have braces, you may find yourself in a situation where your braces become loose or broken. This typically occurs when there is an injury to the mouth, when you play with your braces, or when you eat something sticky or hard. If you find that you’ve broken your braces and the band or bracket is still affixed to the wire, you should leave your braces alone until you can see your orthodontist for a repair. You should also refrain from connecting elastics to your broken braces. If a portion of your braces actually comes off, save the piece for your orthodontist. Remember, it’s important that you see your orthodontist as quickly as possible to have your braces repaired.

Lost or Poking Archwires, Brackets, or Bands

As your teeth shift during treatment, it’s common for the wires connecting the teeth to begin to poke the back of your mouth, leading to cheek irritation. You may be able to treat this at home! All you need to do is to utilize a Q-Tip to push the wire into a more comfortable place. If you aren’t able to move the wire this way, you can always call our office for guidance and instructions.

If you wind up misplacing or swallowing your treatment device, you need to call our office to have it replaced as soon as possible.

Tooth Pain or Loosening

Discomfort and soreness are common side effects as the teeth loosen and shift into their new positions. This discomfort or soreness is most often felt a few days after the braces or aligners are placed or adjusted by your orthodontist. The discomfort felt during this process is usually able to be treated with over-the-counter pain medications. You may also want to try rinsing out your mouth with warm salt water twice daily.

If neither of these remedies addresses your pain, you will need to contact your orthodontist to schedule an appointment. He or she will then be able to treat your pain.

Don’t ignore pain or discomfort caused by your orthodontic treatment. Get in touch with our office to see an orthodontist at your earliest convenience.

How Do I Know if I Need to Go to the Emergency Room or Visit My Orthodontist?

While the most common types of problems during orthodontic treatments can cause discomfort and pain, most of the time the situation isn’t a true emergency. A genuine orthodontic (or dental) emergency is rare. If you experience any of the below symptoms or events, you should go to a local emergency room right away:

1. Severe swelling of the face or gums

2. Oral bleeding that you cannot control

3. Sudden injuries to your face, head, teeth or jaw, such as a blow to the head

The above symptoms are indications of serious, potentially life-threatening complications, so they require immediate treatment by an emergency room doctor. After you have received the necessary treatment, you may need to get in touch with your regular dentist so that any injuries or trauma to the teeth, mouth, or gums can be properly treated. Your orthodontist will be able to assist with repairs or replacements to your orthodontic treatment devices, but your dentist is more qualified to address damage to your teeth and mouth.

Our Practice Can Assist You During Our Regular Office Hours

Even though orthodontic emergencies are rare, the pain that you feel from common orthodontic treatment problems needs to be addressed as soon as possible. If you have pain or any issue with your orthodontic appliance that you can’t fix by yourself at home, contact our office to book an appointment with one of our orthodontists during our regularly scheduled office hours. While you may want to put off getting your device repaired, it’s important that you don’t delay in getting your issue fixed. This is because a broken or missing device can delay the course of your treatment, leading to longer treatment times. This can also make your treatment more expensive in the long run. No matter what your orthodontic issue is, our team is here to help you as soon as possible.

Don’t ignore pain or discomfort caused by your orthodontic treatment. Get in touch with our office to see an orthodontist at your earliest convenience.

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