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Orthodontic Emergencies – Plano, TX

Offering Immediate Care When a Crisis Occurs

If you’ve become accustomed to wearing your traditional braces, you’re likely doing everything you can to avoid a potential problem. But even if you are careful when eating, cleaning, or engaging in physical activity, accidents can happen, resulting in orthodontic emergencies. At Willow Bend Orthodontics, our team is here to deliver timely care when you need it most. Whether you are dealing with a loose braces bracket, oral sores, or even stuck debris, we can provide helpful tips and immediate care to get you back on your feet and well on your way to a healthier smile. Contact us today to find out what we can do to help you in your time of need.

Why Choose Willow Bend Orthodontics for Orthodontic Emergencies?

  • Jones is a board-certified orthodontist with years of experience
  • Quick and timely treatment to help you avoid further delays
  • Improved comfort and patient safety

How Can I Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies?

A young girl with long, red hair, smiling and showing off her metal fixtures after having a loose braces bracket in Plano fixed

The most effective ways to avoid orthodontic emergencies include:

  • Staying away from hard, crunchy, or sticky foods, as these can damage your brackets, wires, and teeth. Whether it is causing a metal appliance to pop out of place or chipping a tooth, it’s best to avoid these at all costs.
  • Keeping your teeth, gums, and braces clean with regular brushing and flossing. These morning and nighttime rituals will help prevent cavities and gum disease.
  • Wearing a mouthguard while playing any type of sport or engaging in physical activity. You should also wear one if you are prone to teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism).
  • Regularly see your dentist and orthodontist for follow-up visits to keep your smile healthy and your braces in optimal shape.

What Are the Best Ways to Care for Braces/Retainers at Home?

A young female allowing the orthodontist to look inside her mouth to ensure everything looks fine and her braces are intact

Want to minimize the potential for ortho emergencies? Dr. Jones and her team can provide helpful tips to remember when you are at home taking care of your changing smile. Some of these tips include:

  • Using a proxy brush can be helpful to clear around your brackets and underneath your wire. These specialized toothbrushes are a great way to reduce food particles and bacteria from adhering to the small crevices of your appliances and teeth.
  • Remembering to floss between your teeth after eating, as food can easily become stuck, causing an increased risk for tooth decay as well as potential discomfort.
  • Cleaning your retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water to remove bacteria and food particles. It can also be helpful to soak your retainer in a denture cleaner.

Stuck Food or Debris

This is one of the most common occurrences you will face while wearing braces. Using a toothbrush or proxy brush can help remove debris and help you feel relief should you be experiencing any discomfort. Only if you cannot successfully remove the object with specialized dental instruments should you seek the help of your orthodontist.

Ligature Damaged or Fallen Off

Rubber bands, also known as ligatures, are commonly used to keep your wire firmly in place. Should one fall off, you can use tweezers to move it back into place; however, if it continues to fall off, your orthodontist will need to examine the problem area and determine how best to fix it.

Dental Pain or Discomfort

When first receiving your braces or having your wire tightened, you will likely experience some discomfort. Fortunately, this will dissipate within a few days. Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever and/or using a cold compress can help to alleviate some of the pain.

Oral Soft Tissue Sores, Irritation, or Inflammation

When wearing braces, you’ll want to invest in dental wax, as this can be a great tool to use should your brackets or wires begin to rub against your soft oral tissues. At the start of treatment, your mouth will not be used to these new fixtures, so having wax can help alleviate the possibility of oral sores and irritation.

Loose/Poking Wires

Should a wire become loose and begin to poke your cheek or lip, you can use an eraser end of a pencil to push it back into place. If this does not work, it’s best to contact our office and let our team take a look. In the meantime, simply apply dental wax to the area to cover it and keep the wire from irritating your oral tissues.

Loose Bracket

A loose bracket can occur if you bite into something hard or it endures excess pressure. If this happens to you and the bracket remains attached to the wire, dental wax can be applied to prevent tissue irritation. If the bracket falls off completely, make sure to retrieve it and bring it to your appointment. You’ll need to call our office and schedule an emergency visit so Dr. Jones can administer immediate care to minimize the potential for delayed results.

Swallowed Piece of Appliance

Although extremely rare, it is possible to accidentally swallow a piece of your appliance. If you can see the piece in your mouth or throat, try to remove it. If you cannot and start to cough, do not wait to see us. Instead, get to a local emergency room for immediate medical attention.

Facial Trauma

It is important that you wear a mouthguard while wearing braces and playing sports. But if you should sustain facial trauma that results in damage to your braces, don’t delay in contacting Dr. Jones and our team. We will work to get you in quickly and address the current problem. Should you face serious bleeding from the mouth that does not cease or sudden swelling, have someone take you to the emergency room as soon as possible.

Orthodontic Emergency FAQs

Girl seeing orthodontist in Plano for emergency

At Willow Bend Orthodontics, Dr. Jones and her team understand you probably have many questions about the potential for injuries to occur while wearing braces. Fortunately, we are here to ensure you have all the information you need to feel more confident should you experience an unexpected accident during your orthodontic treatment. Below is a list of common questions asked by our patients. If you do not see yours listed and would like to schedule an appointment with our orthodontist, contact us today!

Why should I seek emergency care?

Whether you wear braces or not, seeking the help of a dental professional when a mouth-related injury occurs is essential. During orthodontic treatment, a sudden accident can result in potential delays and more serious harm to your oral cavity. Because braces require an investment in time and money, forgoing necessary care for an orthodontic emergency will only cause more issues over time. Even if the problem is minor, it’s best to let Dr. Jones review the situation and make the appropriate call when it comes to treatment.

When should an orthodontic emergency warrant a visit to the ER?

It should come as a welcomed relief that most orthodontic emergencies can be treated in-house. Dr. Jones is fully aware and equipped to provide immediate assistance should an injury occur. However, certain cases may require you to first visit your local emergency room. Continuous bleeding from the mouth, increased swelling, and a fractured jaw are all reasons to bypass our office and get to an ER first. Once your symptoms are addressed, you can then come to see us for additional treatment.

What happens if I lose my retainer?

Losing a retainer is not uncommon; however, it is not an ideal situation either. These oral retention devices are designed to keep your newly shifted teeth in place. When left out for too long, or when you lose your retainer, you run the risk of your teeth returning to their original position. This would effectively undo all your hard work, time, and money. Should you accidentally lose your retainer, don’t wait to call an orthodontist near me. By alerting our team to the issue, we can quickly get to work and replace your retainer in little time.

What should I do if an emergency occurs while I’m out of town?

You may feel panicked should an accident occur while on vacation or while away on business but knowing what to do will help you feel more confident and comfortable. Should you be out of town and an orthodontic emergency occur, you’ll need to find a local orthodontist who can administer immediate help. You’ll also want to call our office and tell us about your situation. Based on the information received, we can determine if you should see us when you return from your trip.

Will insurance cover the cost of an orthodontic emergency?

Every dental insurance plan is different, so you’ll need to review your policy to determine if you will be expected to pay out of pocket for this type of visit. If you have a broken or lost retainer or appliance, there’s a good chance you will receive a bill for this particular instance. If you have an insurance plan that offers orthodontic coverage, you’ll need to be mindful of your annual maximum, as it is unlikely your insurer will pay for anything over the allotted amount provided. Fortunately, our dental team at Willow Bend Orthodontics can work on your behalf to help you get the answers you need to make the right decision for your smile. While you should never put off emergency care out of fear you cannot afford it, you can trust that we will work with you to identify ways to keep your treatment affordable.