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Orthodontic Emergencies – Jacksonville, FL

Fast Relief For Patients in Need

Patient having braces adjusted

Please contact Ortega Orthodontics as soon as possible should you break or loosen any of your appliances. Call our orthodontic office before coming in so we can make the time to treat you properly. If you already have an appointment scheduled, please let us know that you will need repair during your visit. If you experience an orthodontic emergency outside of our office hours, contact our answering service, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Why Choose Ortega Orthodontics for Orthodontic Emergencies?

  • Homegrown orthodontist with years of experience
  • Kind, friendly, & highly-skilled team
  • Same-day appointments available for emergency patients

How Can I Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies?

Smiling young boy in orthodontic chair

A few simple habits are all you need to save yourself from having to make an unexpected trip to the orthodontist:

What Are The Best Ways To Care For My Braces/Retainers At Home?

Teen cleaning between braces

Stuck Food or Debris

Patient with braces brushing teeth

It’s relatively common for food to become stuck in braces, and this is a problem you can likely fix on your own. Just use either some floss or a proxy brush to remove the offensive debris, being careful to not damage the braces.

Ligature Damaged or Fallen Off

Orthodontist adjusting brackets and wires

Ligatures, also known as elastics, are the small rubber bands used to keep the wires attached to the brackets. If one falls out, you can place it back using some tweezers. However, if your ligatures are falling out all the time, give us a call so we can help you figure out why.

Dental Pain or Discomfort

Woman in pain holding cheek

Often, there is an adaptation period after getting braces or receiving an adjustment. You will likely experience some soreness or discomfort in your teeth for a few days. Wax, over-the-counter pain relievers, and warm washcloths can help to ease these sensations until they finally subside.

Oral Soft Tissue Sores, Irritation, or Inflammation

Teen with braces holding cheek

The soft tissues of the gums, lips, and cheeks will likely feel a bit irritated in the days right after braces have been put on. This is completely normal, and the mouth should adjust in less than a week. In the meantime, rinsing with warm salt water or placing dental wax over particularly tender areas can provide immediate relief.

Loose/Poking Wires

Young boy receiving orthodontic treatment

A wire may poke your gum or cheek and cause discomfort throughout orthodontic treatment. You may be able to redirect the wire at home by moving it with your toothbrush or the eraser end of a pencil. If you are unable to bend the wire, contact our orthdontic office for an appointment. If you experience a loose wire and are unable to push it back into place, contact our orthodontic office and place wax over it in order to soothe your discomfort until you can be seen in our orthodontic office. Should your main archwire break, please call Ortega Orthodontics for an emergency visit.

Loose Bracket

Orthodontist checking braces

If you experience a loose bracket, please contact our orthodontic office as soon as possible. If your loose bracket remains attached to the wire, leave it in place until your visit and use wax to ease any discomfort. Should the bracket come completely off, simply slide it off and bring it to your appointment.

Swallowed Piece of Appliance

Woman covering her mouth

This doesn’t happen often, but it’s still a possibility in the case of an accident. Have the person open their mouth and see if you can spot the appliance. You can try to remove it yourself if you’re able to reach it. If it’s gone and the person is starting to cough, head to your local ER immediately.

Facial Trauma

Grimacing woman holding cheek

If the face/mouth have experienced physical trauma, it’s best to contact our orthodontic office right away. We can assess any damage to the teeth/orthodontic appliances and provide necessary repairs. However, if there is heavy bleeding or the likelihood of a broken jaw, you should visit the ER first.

Handling Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic Emergency FAQs

A young person pointing to their mouth and cringing in pain while wearing braces

Are you dealing with a broken braces bracket? Do you know what to do to avoid an orthodontic emergency? Do you know how to address the problem of losing your retainer? These are common questions answered by dentists and orthodontists all the time. To ensure you have all the information you need throughout your treatment and even after you’ve completed your time wearing braces, here are some frequently asked questions you can refer to. If you have additional inquiries or need to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to contact us.

When should an orthodontic emergency warrant a trip to the ER?

Most orthodontic emergencies are easily managed by an orthodontist and their skilled team of professionals. From broken and loose brackets to soft tissue irritation and serious dental pain, you can expect to visit your local orthodontist’s office for help. However, if you experience severe facial trauma that results in a broken or fractured jaw, continuous bleeding from the mouth that does not cease after 15-20 minutes of applied pressure, or increased swelling around the mouth, jaw, or throat, you should get to your local emergency room for immediate medical attention.

What can happen if I avoid emergency care?

When facing a dental emergency of any kind, it is always best to seek care as soon as possible, even if you believe it’s nothing serious. Oftentimes, when damage or injury occur, especially while wearing braces, you could be faced with a problem that is undetectable to the naked eye. It will take a skilled and trained professional to carefully examine your appliances and oral cavity to ensure there are no bent wires, loose brackets, or protruding pieces that could cause additional harm to your teeth and/or gums. Avoiding professional help could potentially lead to worsening problems that cause more time and money to be spent fixing the issue.

What happens if I lose my retainer?

Apart from keeping your retainer clean, you should make every effort to avoid losing it as well. Your retainer is what will keep your teeth in place after your braces come off. Should you lose it, not only can you expect to pay to have it replaced, but you can also face the reality of your teeth beginning to shift back toward their original position. This will essentially undo all the hard work you’ve put forth to realign your smile.

If you lose your retainer, make sure to alert our office immediately. We will quickly order a new retainer for you so that there is minimal time between losing your old one and receiving your new one.

If I’m traveling and an emergency occurs, what should I do?

Don’t wait to seek help. Find a local orthodontist who can immediately get you in and offer timely and effective treatment. It is best if you address the problem sooner rather than wait until you return from your trip. This will not only allow you to enjoy the rest of your time away, but it will prevent additional problems from developing. You will need to make sure that you contact our office, though, to ensure we are informed of the injury. Based on the information you provide, we will be able to determine if you should come in for an exam after you return.

Will insurance cover my orthodontic emergency?

All dental insurance companies are different, so how they handle orthodontic emergencies will be dependent upon your plan and any stipulations or exclusions stated within your policy. To know if your visit will be covered by insurance, make sure to contact an insurance representative and explain the situation. If you are unsure what to ask or how to handle the situation, feel free to ask a member of our dental team to work on your behalf.

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