Emergency Orthodontics in Chapel Hill

The team at Clifton & Mauney is here for you if you experience an injury or emergency during your orthodontic treatment.

Luckily, orthodontic emergencies are extremely rare, but let’s look at some situations you might encounter during your treatment and best practices for dealing with them.

Dr. Clifton has the experience and knowledge to ensure you navigate your treatment smoothly and achieve the smile of your dreams. Schedule an appointment to see what makes us the best orthodontic provider in Chapel Hill!  

What is an Orthodontic Emergency?

During your treatment, you may experience situations ranging from mild discomfort to severe emergencies. True orthodontic emergencies that require immediate attention from an orthodontist are very rare. Your orthodontist can treat most of the situations during a follow-up visit.

 We have listed the following situations and recommended treatments from least severe to most severe:

General Discomfort

Feeling temporary tenderness is expected during treatment, especially after your orthodontist places or adjusts your braces. Some ways to help reduce the discomfort include:

  • Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Rinsing your mouth twice a day with one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water
  • Placing a heating pad or warm washcloth on your jaw

Ligatures Falling Off

Ligatures are small rubber bands that hold the archwire to the bracket. You can put a loose ligature back in place with sterile tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, you can remove it with tweezers also or bend it back to prevent rubbing. Be sure to examine all ligatures to ensure they remain secure. 

If a ligature breaks or goes missing, contact our office so we can determine if you need to schedule a check-in visit.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores are ulcerations of the tongue, lips, or cheeks. Braces do not cause mouth sores, but sores may become exacerbated if you are susceptible to getting them. Topical anesthetics, including Orabase and Ora-Gel, may help provide relief.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

New braces can sometimes rub against your lips or cheeks. Orthodontic wax can help create a buffer between the braces and your mouth. Pinch off a small piece of wax and cover the irritating segment of the braces. The wax is non-toxic and is harmless if swallowed.

Being Poked by Braces Wire

Wires can work themselves out of position and poke your mouth. You can push the wire flat and cover the wire with relief wax. You should also contact our office to schedule an appointment so we can fix the wire. We can also provide additional suggestions on minimizing the irritation.

Loose Brackets, Wires, or Bands

Brackets, wires, and bands may come loose if your mouth is struck while playing sports or if you eat hard or chewy foods. If the adhesive holding the bracket fails, you can temporarily fix the bracket by rotating it and sliding it into the proper position with sterile tweezers. You should contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment so we can repair the loose piece. It is important to act quickly to avoid delays in your treatment.

You can help prevent this problem by avoiding hard or chewy foods and wearing a mouth guard during sports or other physical activities.

Loose Brackets, Wires, or Bands

Brackets, wires, and bands may come loose if your mouth is struck while playing sports or if you eat hard or chewy foods. If the adhesive holding the bracket fails, you can temporarily fix the bracket by rotating it and sliding it into the proper position with sterile tweezers. You should contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment so we can repair the loose piece. It is important to act quickly to avoid delays in your treatment.

You can help prevent this problem by avoiding hard or chewy foods and wearing a mouth guard during sports or other physical activities.

Infection or Swelling of the Gums, Mouth, or Face

Some swelling may occur with newly placed braces and can be treated with over-the-counter medication. If the swelling persists for many days or worsens, you should contact your orthodontist. If there is evidence of infection, you should also contact our office as soon as possible.

Swallowing Loose Parts

It is very rare for a patient to swallow a loose part, but it can cause concern for the patient if it does happen. If you can see the piece, you can carefully retrieve it, but do not do so if it may cause harm. If you swallow the piece, contact the orthodontist right away for guidance.

Contact Your Chapel Hill, NC Emergency Orthodontic Care Expert

Our team is here to support you every step of the way during your treatment. Do not hesitate to contact us at 919-933-1007 or through our contact page if you have any questions or concerns about your orthodontic treatment.

If needed, we will schedule an appointment as soon as possible to help keep your treatment on schedule.

Check out the great testimonials we have gotten from our clients to see what makes us the best orthodontic and dental care in Chapel Hill.