Emergency Orthodontic Care

Everything You Need to Know

If you or your child experience an orthodontic emergency, we’re here for you!

st louis braces

What To Do In An Orthodontic Emergency

Thankfully, true orthodontic emergencies are exceedingly rare – but they can happen. We can handle most problems over a phone call, but if you have a more serious or pressing issue, we’ll schedule a visit ASAP and get you back on track to your new smile.

While emergencies can range from minor issues to serious problems, we’re here to help you no matter what happens. The first step is always to call our office at (636) 825-1000.

Minor Orthodontic Emergencies

Most problems with your orthodontic treatment will be minor, and many can be handled over the phone. Still, even a minor problem can cause discomfort or impair your treatment.

Even for minor issues, you should still call or text our office at (636) 825-1000  to determine how best to handle the issue. Any of the following problems qualify as a minor orthodontic emergency:

Loose or Broken Braces

If a wire, bracket, or band in your braces breaks or loosens, it’s important to take care of it right away. If the piece is still attached to your braces, leave it in place and avoid touching it until your repair appointment.

If the loose piece falls out of your mouth, pick it up and bring it with you to your emergency appointment. If any part of your braces is causing you discomfort, you can cover them with a piece of dental wax until we make repairs.

Discomfort from Pointy Archwires, Ties,
or Brackets

Sometimes, the archwire – the thin, springy metal wire running through your braces, can shift position as your teeth move and begin to poke your mouth.

If this happens, try using a clean pencil eraser, Q-tip, or a sterilized pair of tweezers to move it to a more comfortable position. If that doesn’t work, try covering the area with dental wax. As a last resort for serious discomfort, you can clip the wire with a sterilized pair of nail clippers – but please call or text us before attempting this.

Toothaches or Loose Teeth

As your braces move your teeth, you may experience minor discomfort or soreness in your teeth or gums. This is normal — in fact, it shows that your braces are working.

Most discomfort is very mild and fades within a few days. For help managing the discomfort, try using a warm salt water rinse or over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol. However, if the pain is beyond what you can handle or you notice the pain getting worse or not going away, it could be a more serious issue, and we encourage you to contact us right away.

What Counts As a Major Orthodontic Emergency?

Serious orthodontic emergencies are rare and truly only occur if they have the possibility of damaging your teeth, jaws, or mouth. The major orthodontic emergencies include:

  • An injury or other trauma to the mouth, teeth, or the face
  • Swollen or infected gums or any other infection or serious swelling in the face
  • Severe, unmanageable pain in the mouth or face

If you experience any of these problems, don’t wait: Call or text us immediately at (636) 825-1000. We’ll talk with you to better understand the situation and schedule a visit.

If you can’t reach us or feel in immediate danger, skip the call and head straight to the emergency room. Then, call us to tell us what happened when you feel safe.