What To Do In An Orthodontic Emergency 


In the event of an orthodontic emergency, you should call us right away to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. However, the first step before you act is to be able to identify what classifies as an orthodontic emergency. As a general rule-of-thumb that you can use is just asking yourself two simple questions:

1.“Am I in pain or severe discomfort?”

2. “Are my braces (or Invisalign) damaged?”

If you answer yes to either of these questions, the likelihood is that you have an orthodontic emergency on your hands, even if it’s a minor one. So if you end up with some sticky stuck in your braces and you just can’t get it out, or you happen to lose some of your rubber band spacers for your braces, you can definitely give us a call to help you out, but you can relax by knowing that it’s not a pressing issue. You can get more information on how to respond during specific orthodontic emergencies below.

Loose Brackets or Bands

If you notice that a bracket or the archwire has become loose, you should contact us right away to schedule a time for repair and refitting of the bracket or wire.  There are many ways that a bracket can become loose, such as biting into a hard piece of food that dislodges it or taking a hit when playing sports just to name a few examples. No matter the reason, the priority is to get the braces fixed, restoring the structure of the braces and allow them to continue moving your teeth. 

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. 

Wire Irritations Or Scrapes

The severity of wire issues can vary greatly, with some that only deal with a tiny protruding wire that causes irritation, or loose wire that can poke and scrape the inside of the mouth, risking bleeding and even increasing the risk of infection in some cases. If possible, the best solution it to try and more the wire away by using a small piece of cotton or small amount of wax.  If the wire is causing pain, you can use nail clippers or scissors that have been sterilized in alcohol to carefully clip the wire in hopes that it will get short enough to stop causing irritation. In the meantime, call us to schedule the appointment so we get that wire fixed and get your mouth back to a state where it’s not poked and scratched by metal wires as much.    

The same goes for Invisalign, since it’s possible for aligners to be the wrong size. Typically, Invisalign patients will experience a discomfort due to some protruding plastic from an aligner that scrapes the mouth.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

In the first week after you get your braces, it’s very common for patients to experience a degree of discomfort as their teeth adjust to their new process of gradual movement, not to mention the braces or Invisalign.  While this discomfort is typically very minor, the simple solution would be to take a pain-killer or use a warm cloth to sooth the injury.  However, if you experience persistent pain or discomfort, or if the pain is more severe than it had been, contact us right away and schedule an appointment with us so we can examine your teeth and discover the source of the pain. 

 Contact 20 Mile Orthodontics With Your Emergency Right Away!

If you do experience an emergency, just remember to not panic and contact us right away. We will be able to help you get your emergency appointment scheduled at either our Parker or Castle Rock, CO office locations, as well as walk you through the process of any possible at-home temporary treatment methods. You can always count on Dr. Struhs and the the orthodontic staff here at 20 Mile Orthodontics to be there for you when you need us most!