Orthodontic emergencies

Below you can find some solutions to orthodontic emergency problems. In their vast majority, orthodontic emergencies are not major problems and they might just require an earlier orthodontic visit.

  • Food trap

    Food trap is not an actual orthodontic emergency but it can be bothersome for the patient. If the food remnant cannot be removed with the toothbrush, don't manipulate the appliances with your hands. Try using an interproximal toothbrush, a dental toothpick, or a piece of floss with a knot in the middle of the piece of floss to be used.

  • Loss of ligature or elastic ties

    Orthodontic wires are often held in place with the use of tiny elastic ties or small metal ligature ties. If an elastic tie comes of, try putting it back with a pair of clean sterilized tweezers. If a metal tie is sticking out causing lip or gum irritation, try carefully putting it back to place using a q-tip, a small eraser, or something similar. You can always consult your orthodontist for the possibility of an earlier visit.

  • Discomfort

    It is not uncommon for the patients to experience some discomfort after treatment initiation and appliance adjustment. This discomfort is a temporary and goes away very soon. Softer diet and use of mild pain relievers will ease those first days until everything returns back to normal.

  • Ulcers

    Some patients complain about ulcers appearing in the mouth during orthodontic treatment. Braces do not cause ulcers. However, stress or initial discomfort can accelerate their appearance. Since ulcers are usually painful, proper instructions should be followed. Try to keep the oral cavity clean and avoid acidic and salty foods. Chamomile-soda rinses and the use of topical anesthetics (Orabase, Ora-Gel etc) on the ulcer's surface will ease the discomfort caused by them.

  • Lip or cheek irritation

    Orthodontic appliances are not painful. Sometimes, when new forces are introduced a discomfort might occur. This symptom goes away within 2-3 days. When new appliances are put in the mouth, lips and cheeks can be irritated for a while. In such cases the use of orthodontic wax put on the surface of the appliance creates a barrier between the mouth and the metal surface. You should use a small amount of wax provided by your orthodontist, preferably after drying slightly the area. No problems arise if wax is swallowed during eating as it is harmless.

  • Protruding wires

    Occasionally, the end of a wire can stick out and irritate the mouth of the patient. You can use a q-tip or a small eraser to squeeze it in. If the wire cannot move, you can cover it with wax. In rare cases you might need to cut the protruding wire. Do it very carefully, with clean, sterilized clippers and put wax in the wire's end to prevent further irritation. Notify your orthodontist.

  • Loose brackets, bands or wires

    If a bracket comes loose please notify your orthodontist. Brackets become usually loose if the patient bites into something hard or sticky. If the patient is careful and follows the orthodontist's instructions, loose brackets are an extremely rare phenomenon.
    If a loose bracket has changed position and causes irritation try to carefully put it back to its original position. You can use a pair of sterilized tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire. Notify your orthodontist for further instructions.

  • Appliance swallowing

    If small, rounded attachments are swallowed there is usually no need to worry. There are extremely rare circumstances that a true emergency can happen, if something very sharp or very bulky is swallowed. Encourage the patient to stay calm and notify your orthodontist. Exercise care if there is difficulty in breathing or continuous coughing. In cases that airway is blocked, try to free it with extreme care. If you are not sure about it don't do anything that could worsen the situation and notify your orthodontist.


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Marousi, 151 22, Αθήνα

(near Marousi Metro Station)

Τel: +30 210 8067130
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