Caring for Your Smile During an Orthodontic Emergency

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Sometimes when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, the unexpected arises. Some relatively common emergencies include having a loose or broken wire or bracket causing discomfort or accidentally losing an Invisalign aligner!

Of course, you wouldn’t be the first to toss out an aligner after taking it out to eat. But don’t panic, we’ve got you covered:

When to be Seen
Most orthodontic emergencies can wait a couple of days until you can make it into the office. Giving us a call right away allows us to get you in as soon as possible and also lets us explain over the phone what steps you can take now to fix the issue temporarily and maintain comfort. For serious orthodontic emergencies, calling right away means we’ll be able to get you in sooner. The following situations take priority in getting you in to be treated:

• Oral infection with swelling in your mouth or face
• Injury or trauma to your mouth, face, or teeth
• Severe pain in the mouth or face

Handling an Orthodontic Emergency

• Stay calm and call our orthodontic team for assistance.
• Explain the emergency so we can assess the problem and create a swift action plan to minimize issues.
• Follow the directions in the letter to feel better and continue your treatment uninterrupted.

Loose Brackets or Bands
You may need to come in so these can be refitted properly. For example, you may be directed to use sterilized fingernail clippers to cut the broken piece or slide a bracket off at night (or over the weekend) until you can be seen.

Poking Wires Or Wire Irritations
To avoid irritation to your cheeks or gums, use a cotton swab or eraser to nudge it away from your oral tissues. If the wire doesn’t move for you, you can place a section of wax over it so it can’t hurt you. If that doesn’t work, try cutting it with sterile nail clippers (cleaned thoroughly and then rinsed with alcohol).

Lost Separators
Call us right away so we can determine if you need to come in and get them replaced.

Loose/Lost Expanders
Call us right away so we can fit you in to get it placed back in right away.

Initial Placement & Routine Adjustments
Whether you are wearing Invisalign aligners or braces during the first week of your orthodontic treatment and after periodic routine adjustments, you can expect to feel some level of soreness or discomfort. You can manage the discomfort at home with the help of acetaminophen or some other kind of non-aspirin pain reliever. In addition, applying a heating pad or warm compress on the outside of the area can help lessen soreness in the jaw area.

The good news is, with proper care and consistent treatment, your smile will be straight and your bite aligned before you know it! In the meantime, please give us a call if you need help. You can reach our Barakat Orthodontics team at (703) 433-9330.

We look forward to helping you with your emergency visit as quickly as possible!

Dr. Rana Barakat, a board-certified specialist in Orthodontics, has been proudly serving Northern Virginia for more than 20-years! She has built her practice on a personal touch and excellent treatment.

As a parent, she understands wanting the best for your children by giving them beautiful, confident smiles. She makes it a priority to ensure optimal results, but also believes that each patient’s experience during treatment is just as important as the clinical result. As the 2015-16 President of the Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Dr. Barakat’s dedication and expertise reflect why her peers continue to nominate her as a Top Dentist.

Barakat Orthodontics is located at 45745 Nokes Blvd., Ste. 175, Sterling, VA 20166. Connect by visiting them online, or get social with them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Barakat Orthodontics can also be reached at (703) 433-9330.