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Orthodontic Emergencies – Huntington, NY

Broken Bracket? Oral Pain? We Can Help!

Smiling young woman with braces

Orthodontic emergencies can strike when your family is least expecting it, resulting in sudden panic and discomfort. Thankfully, Dr. Justyna and the rest of our team members are here to help when patients need us most. We work hard to accommodate urgent situations as soon as possible in our schedule; in many cases, treatment can even be provided on the same day as your initial call. Don’t hesitate – contact us today in Huntington, NY!

Why Choose Huntington Orthodontics for Orthodontic Emergencies?

  • Same-Day Emergency Appointments Available
  • Highly Experienced Orthodontist With Board-Certification
  • Emphasis On Patient Comfort

How Can I Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies?

Young woman with braces looking at smile in mirror
  • Exercise a great deal of caution when enjoying foods that are very brittle, sticky, chewing, or hard. They can badly damage or even warp the components of braces.
  • Make sure to let Dr. Justyna know if you’re experiencing any major pain after several days following the placement or adjustment of braces.
  • If you regularly participate in sporting events where physical contact can occur, wearing a mouthguard is a necessity!
  • Make sure you’re practicing good oral hygiene habits! It’s very easy for food to get stuck between teeth and cause cavities when a patient wears braces. Our team can help demonstrate some very effective flossing and brushing techniques during you or your child’s next appointment.

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

Young girl looking at her braces in mirror

It’s important to practice the proper oral hygiene at home when orthodontic components are present in the mouth, making sure to angle your toothbrush above and below the braces Several strokes should properly clean the spaces located between your braces.

When it comes to flossing, it’s a good idea to feed the short end between the upper part of the tooth and the main wire. Don’t use too much force! And if you’re only wearing a retainer at this point, it’s important to make sure this appliance is cleaned thoroughly as well. It can be brushed with toothpaste or antibacterial soap.

So what exactly counts an orthodontic emergency, anyway? Here are some situations that our team sees most regularly, as well as a few helpful tips for what your family should do if you end up experiencing them:

Stuck Food or Debris

Closeup of person with braces brushing teeth

When you simply can’t free a piece of food that’s become wedged in your braces, the situation’s likely to feel somewhat embarrassing or uncomfortable. In most cases, this issue should be a simple fix that doesn’t actually require emergency attention. Dr. Justyna’s recommendation is to take some dental floss or a proxy brush to carefully eliminate the stray debris.

Ligature Damaged or Fallen Off

Closeup of orthodontist repairing braces

Ligatures (which are also referred to as elastics or rubber bands) are designed to connect the wires and brackets so that the patient’s teeth are subjected to the right amount of force. If one or more of these ligatures are lost or damaged in some way, it’s actually possible to place it right back into its original home with a pair of tweezers! However, if quite a few ligatures are disappearing over time, that’s a different matter. Be sure to let our team know so that we can determine the cause and correct it.

Dental Pain or Discomfort

Woman with braces pointing to teeth

It is very, very common to experience some general soreness and discomfort following the initial placement (or adjustment) of braces. Please don’t panic! Your teeth just need some quality time to adjust to the new forces they’re experiencing. However, if this soreness is more like outright pain or lingers for over a week, don’t hesitate to contact Huntington Orthodontics.

Oral Soft Tissue Sores, Irritation, or Inflammation

Young girl with braces holding cheek in pain

During the early days of a new set of braces, sore spots can happen. This irritating issue should disappear as your mouth adjusts to the addition. During this period, though, some dental wax can work wonders if it’s positioned over particularly sensitive areas. Dr. Justyna also recommends rinsing your mouth with some warm water that contains a little salt for relief. If these sores only seem to become worse and worse over time, please contact us.

Loose/ Poking Wires

Orthodontist repairing broken braces wire

If an orthodontic wire has come loose and is creating serious discomfort within the mouth, we recommend gently pushing the sharp end back into place with either a pencil eraser or a Q-tip. You can also cover it with a piece of wax to minimize irritation. Contact our Huntington office – we’ll get you scheduled for an appointment right away so the wire can be properly fixed!

Loose Bracket

Girl with braces holding green apple

This emergency situation should be seen by Dr. Justyna as soon as possible. If you’re unable to reach our practice for some time, a good temporary fix is to use tweezers and slide the bracket along the orthodontic wire. Once you’ve got it held between two teeth, try rotating it until it’s reached its original position and sliding it back so that it’s centered on the proper tooth. Or you can simply remove the colored rubberband with a tweezer and remove the bracket. Call our office to schedule a rebonding visit.

Swallowed Piece of Appliance

Woman covering her mouth

We only hear about this issue happening on a very rare basis. Stay calm, if you can see the loose piece in your or your child’s mouth, try to remove it carefully if possible. If excessive coughing is happening, it may have been aspirated. Contact Huntington Orthodontics immediately!

Facial Trauma

Woman holding jaw in pain

If you or your family member’s mouth has suffered a severe injury and their braces were damaged, Dr. Justyna will want to schedule you for an emergency visit ASAP. Our team’s top goal is to replenish any harmed components as soon as possible so that your treatment plan gets back on track. If bones were potentially broken or heavy oral bleeding is occurring, please proceed to the emergency room first.

Orthodontic Emergency FAQs

A young woman pointing to her smile

When it comes to a dental emergency, it can be stressful. But throw in metal brackets and wires, and you might find that you are in full panic mode. Before you rush off to the emergency room, stop and take a few minutes to collect yourself and notify your emergency orthodontist at Huntington Orthodontics. Our team of professionals are equipped to walk you through these types of situations and will work to get you in as soon as possible. In the meantime, allow us to provide you with some of the most commonly asked questions about orthodontic emergencies. Hopefully, the answers will help to put you at ease and better prepare you should a crisis occur.

What constitutes an orthodontic emergency?

Anytime you have facial trauma or injury to your mouth, teeth, and face, it is imperative that you contact our office as soon as possible. Even if your braces are still intact, there could be an underlying issue occurring that only x-rays or a trained eye can see. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and let an emergency orthodontist examine your mouth to ensure there is no lasting damage.

What can happen if I avoid emergency care?

If you sustain an injury to your mouth but assume it is nothing to seek professional help for, you could be putting yourself at risk for delaying your treatment. Just because nothing is broken doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. A wire could be bent, or a bracket may be loosened. No matter what, choosing to avoid emergency care will do nothing but negatively impact the timeframe in which you will have a healthier, more beautiful smile.

What happens if I lose my retainer?

Replacing a retainer can be costly, so it is important to keep it in a protective case. Pets love to chew on things that are laying around, so make sure it is put away when not in your mouth. Also, never wrap your retainer up in a napkin while out to eat. The chances of you accidentally throwing it away are great, so instead, bring along your case and keep it protected while you are eating. If you lose your retainer, you will need to call us as soon as possible so that we can get a replacement order. Otherwise, this can result in your teeth shifting back into their original position.

What should I do if my headgear becomes bent?

Headgear is naturally not the most comfortable appliance to wear, but it is important that you wear it if the orthodontist recommends it. Should the facebow become bent at any point, make sure to contact our office. We will be able to assist in fixing the problem whether it is order headgear or fixing it in-house. You should know that the longer you wear it, the less it hurts, so make sure you’re wearing it for the allotted amount of time you are instructed to do so.

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

Emergencies don’t just happen when you’re minutes away from your orthodontist, so if you’re traveling, make sure to google “orthodontist near me” should a problem arise. If it does, get to their office for immediate treatment but make sure to call and alert us to the situation. Once you return, we will likely want to examine your braces to ensure no further treatment is necessary.