Doctors Doleski and Wolford, along with their professional staff, want the time you spend wearing braces to be a trouble free, pleasant and even a fun time! It's common to have some soreness and minor aches when your braces are first put on as your teeth begin to move. The good news is that true orthodontic emergencies with braces are rare.

If you think you're having an emergency with your braces, ask yourself how severe the problem is. This will help you determine if you need immediate attention or if it's something you can handle yourself until you come into our office. Below is some information we've put together that can help you know how to deal with problems that may occur with your braces.

Major Emergencies

There are only a few genuine orthodontic (or dental) emergencies that can happen when you're wearing braces including:

  • Trauma or injury to the teeth, face or mouth
  • Infection or swelling of the gums, mouth or face
  • Severe, unmanageable pain or discomfort of the teeth, mouth or face

If any of these situations arise, you should seek help right away. Head to the nearest emergency room if that's your best option or start with your family dentist. Keep in mind that your dentist is trained to handle all types of problems like fractured teeth and infections. If you do end up having some unexpected dental work done, we can adjust your orthodontic treatment plan if need be.

Less Serious Problems

Fortunately, most orthodontic problems are much less serious than those above, but they may still cause irritation or discomfort. Generally speaking, it's best to try and soothe the cause of the discomfort, and then call us to schedule an appointment. This way, we'll be able to work you into our schedule so we can quickly solve the problem you're having. Below are some of the most common orthodontic problems, along with tips for solving them.

Loose Or Broken Brackets, Wires Or Bands

This problem is often caused by eating foods that are hard or sticky or by playing with your braces. If a loose band or bracket is still attached to the wire, just leave it as it is and don't attach any elastics to it. If the loose part is poking or irritating the inside of your mouth, cover the irritating/poking part with orthodontic wax. If a bracket or band has come completely off, save it. In both situations, call our office to tell us what happened and we'll go from there.

Misplaced Or Poking Bracket, Archwire Or Tie

As your teeth are moving, the archwire that connects your braces can start poking at the inside of your cheeks or near the back of your mouth. If this happens, try moving the wire into a better position with a Q-tip or pencil eraser. Sometimes, using tweezers to gently move a misplaced archwire does the trick. If you can't move the wire, you can try to cut the end off with sterilized nail clippers. But before attempting this, please call our office for specific directions.

General Tooth Pain Or The Feeling That Your Teeth Are Loose

If it feels like your teeth are loose, don't panic! Your teeth actually are loosening a bit during your treatment so they can move into their new positions. This tooth movement can come with some soreness or tenderness, especially right after your braces are put on and following your adjustment appointments. To help alleviate any soreness/tenderness you feel, mix one teaspoon of salt in an 8-oz glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds. You can also place a warm washcloth or heating pad on the outside of your jaw for some relief.

Contact Your Erie, PA Invisalign & Braces Providers

At Doleski & Wolford Orthodontics, we do all we can to make sure your treatment is as comfortable as possible! If you need any advice or have questions just contact us and we'll help! Just remember that any problems you may have with your braces are temporary and can be easily solved!