Orthodontic Accidents

The success of orthodontic treatment depends on the device used to align teeth, the skill of the orthodontist, and the cooperation of the patient. With these three things, the treatment is almost guaranteed to be a success. But even if all three of these conditions are given, you may still experience a delay in treatment if and when an accident occurs. The failure of the device in these cases does not reflect on you, the device or the dentist, it is just a matter of circumstances. Here are some possible scenarios, and how to handle them.

Wire gets loose

The orthodontic wire can break and start to jut out, or it can just come loose during the course of orthodontic treatment. If the wire is intact but just popped out, it is imperative that you gently guide it back into the bracket. If you do not, the wire can poke your gums, your teeth and cheeks, and can cause a bit of pain in some very sensitive areas. If the wire has broken, take a bit of orthodontic wax and cover the sharp end so that it does not stab you in the mouth, and call your orthodontist for an emergency appointment.

There is no need to call a dentist if the wire is intact. Make sure you do not use your finger to guide it back into the bracket, as this will introduce germs into an environment that is difficult to clean, which is a recipe for disaster. Use an eraser or some other small, soft but firm material to guide the wire back into the bracket. You should tell your orthodontist about the problem at your next activation session.

ortho accident

Bracket comes off

If a bracket comes off, you must call your orthodontist to get an emergency appointment as soon as possible. Make sure to take the bracket out so that you do not swallow it, and make sure you keep your bracket, so that the dentist can reattach it at your next activation session. The bracket may be broken in which case a new one will be made, but usually brackets come off as a result of the adhesive giving way.

Things getting caught in braces

Your tongue, cheeks and lips may get caught in your braces, especially in the beginning of treatment, when the orthodontic device is still new and unusual. It may take some time to get used to having the device in your mouth, and you may find yourself in a few embarrassing situations until then. If something does get caught in your brace, usually taking things slow, rinsing and checking out the situation in a mirror will be enough, but sometimes, it is not. If it isn’t, and you cannot untangle yourself, seek the help of a friend. Any set of gentle hands is usually enough to help you get free.

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