How do you know when you’ve done something to your orthodontic work that is considered an emergency? Major orthodontic emergencies don’t happen that often, but immediate attention is needed when they do. Less serious issues can usually wait until an appointment. Having some guidelines to explain the difference between types of emergencies is helpful.
Occasionally a patient’s tooth may become infected after orthodontic treatment. It may not even be related to your appliances, but either way an infection requires professional treatment. If you have pain or swelling near a tooth that continues to worsen, call your orthodontist.
Accidents can happen whether or not you are undergoing orthodontic treatment. See your orthodontist immediately if you injure your teeth, mouth, or jaw. An X-ray may be necessary to determine the extent of the damage. If your orthodontic appliances are affected, they may require adjustment or replacement.
It is much more common for minor problems to arise with your orthodontic work. Some issues that you can either repair on your own or wait until your next office visit include:
- Poking wire
- Loose wire
- Loose bracket
- Loose elastic band
- Lost or broken elastic band
- Loose appliance
- Headgear that does not fit
- General soreness
Most minor orthodontic issues can occur with normal wear and tear. You can help avoid mishaps by steering clear of foods that your orthodontist has warned you about. Hard or sticky items can cause problems. Also, overly vigorous brushing can harm your orthodontics. None of the examples of minor issues should be considered emergencies unless severe or prolonged pain is present.
If you are having an orthodontic emergency, contact our Sherman Oaks orthodontists office.