Orthodontic emergencies seldom occur, but when they do, we are here for you. Usually these situations happen when the bond between the tooth and the braces breaks, often from excessive force. Wearing a protective mouth guard while playing sports will help protect your braces, as well as avoiding hard, crunchy, chewy foods such as hard candy, nuts, ice, hard breads, taffy, and caramel.

When you have an orthodontic emergency, please call our Valley Village office at (818) 980-5300 as soon as possible, so we can address the problem and repair the damage. In the meantime, we have provided tips to alleviate any discomfort until you can come into the office. The following video offers a visual aid for assistance with your orthodontic emergencies.

Poking Wire

When your teeth shift, the wires may become too short or too long, which can cause the wire to poke your cheeks. Use a blunt instrument, like the end of a pencil with an eraser, to bend the wire toward your teeth by. If this step doesn’t work, take a clean nail clipper or a small cutter and cut the wire flush to the closest bracket. Often patients find it easiest to place a small piece of orthodontic wax over the poking wire until they can get into the office.

Broken Bracket or Band

When a bracket or band has broken off of the tooth, it is usually still attached to the main arch-wire. The bracket has a special clip that latches on the arch wire. You will know that the bracket is loose by seeing it “wiggle” or move. If the loose bracket is not bothering you, simply call our Valley Village office at (818) 980-5300 to schedule an appointment to repair the loose bracket as soon as possible. If the loose bracket is poking you, then place a piece of orthodontic wax over the broken bracket until you can come in for your appointment. Do not attempt to wear a headgear or attach a rubber band to a loose bracket or band.

Rubber Spacer

When a spacer pops out, it often occurs because a space between the contact areas of your teeth has opened. We don’t usually have to replace the spacer if you have an appointment soon. If you have issues with the spacer right after placement, we will probably need you to come in and have it replaced. Please call our Valley Village orthodontic office at (818) 980-5300 if you have any trouble with your spacers.

Sore Teeth

After an orthodontic adjustment, some patients have sore teeth. Tylenol or Advil should reduce the discomfort. Warm salt water rinses will reduce the pain in your gums and jaws. If the soreness lasts more than one week, contact our Valley Village orthodontic office.

Bleeding Gums

Usually, your gums bleed because of a local irritation or infection, often caused by plaque build-up from poor brushing and flossing. With braces, you need to brush at least four times a day and after each meal. Floss your teeth at least once a day too. To eliminate bleeding gums, try an electric tooth brush with a timer, a water- pick, and mouth rinses such as Listerine Total Care. As well, make sure to see your general dentist every three to six months for cleanings and checkups. If you have persisting bleeding gums, call our office at (818) 980-5300.