Braces are an investment in your well-being and self-confidence. When they malfunction or you have other kinds of orthodontic emergencies, they can do more than just impair the treatment. An orthodontist emergency can cause greater health challenges later that are more costly to fix. You’ll have to shop around for “an orthodontist near me” because the cost of braces in Richmond Texas isn’t cheap. When things go awry, it pays to know which orthodontist issues are true emergencies versus those that can be fixed at home.

What Is An Orthodontist Emergency?

An orthodontist emergency is a dental problem involving braces that must be addressed as soon as possible. It’s one that can’t wait until your next scheduled appointment. In many cases, it’s hard to distinguish between true emergencies and minor issues. This is especially true if the orthodontist patient is your child. The good news is that true orthodontics emergencies are rare. Most orthodontic issues can be temporarily fixed at home until they are professionally addressed at your next scheduled appointment.

Top 8 Orthodontist Emergency Complaints

Severe Pain

Bracket braces are designed to straighten teeth by shifting them using carefully fitted brackets and wires. During the treatment process, you’ll likely feel some level of discomfort for some time after your initial fitting. This level of tooth pain doesn’t equate to an orthodontist emergency, however. Experts recommend that you apply ice to sore, inflamed areas and rinse your mouth with warm salt water to bring pain levels back to normal.

If you experience severe tooth pain, then you have a true orthodontist emergency. Severe pain is your body’s signal that something is terribly wrong. If at-home remedies fail to stop the pain, you need to contact your emergency orthodontist. He or she can help you to get a next-business-day appointment to evaluate the issue.

Your orthodontist may also be able to assess the root cause of your severe pain by looking at a picture of the area that you send to him or her electronically. If there’s a way to reduce your pain at home, your orthodontist will let you know about the appropriate home remedy.

Loose Brackets Or Wires

One of the more common issues that orthodontic patients face are hardware failures. Bracket braces are made of several parts that include brackets, an archwire, and bands. Any of these components are likely to become damaged if you don’t follow your orthodontist’s instructions about the foods that you shouldn’t eat during your treatment. Chewing on hard foods that are on the prohibited list can cause brackets to become loose or break.

Is a loose bracket an emergency ? Most orthodontists will tell you that it’s not. They recommend that you leave the loosened bracket in place until your next braces appointment. A loose bracket won’t impair your treatment or cause a medical emergency.


A true orthodontist emergency happens when someone wearing bracket braces gets into a car accident or experiences a sports injury. The stainless steel brackets can bend upon impact, and loosened or broken teeth can be held securely in place by the archwire. This is a nightmare scenario that rarely happens. If it ever happens to you, contact your orthodontist for an emergency orthodontist appointment. If your tooth has been knocked out during an accident, try to salvage it. Place the tooth in a container of saliva or milk until you can get it to your orthodontist. He or she will know how to reattach the tooth and redo the braces to continue the treatment.

Broken Braces

Broken brackets and wires usually aren’t serious orthodontic emergencies. They can often be repaired with simple tools or common household items. However, there is one component of your bracket braces that can cause an orthodontist emergency if it breaks. It’s your retainer. Your retainer helps to hold your repositioned teeth in place for a set period of time during your treatment. Living with a broken retainer is not a life-or-death situation, but it will impact your treatment. In a worst-case scenario, a broken retainer can push your teeth into a position that makes them crooked over time. If your retainer breaks, experts recommend that you stop wearing the defective appliance and call your orthodontist to schedule an appointment right away. They don’t recommend that you attempt to fix the retainer yourself.


Many people greatly underestimate the impact that an oral infection has on their overall health and well-being. Studies published by the National Institutes of Health describe a clear link between periodontal infection and the systematic health of the body. The disease starts off as a manageable issue that manifests as swollen and bleeding gums. If not addressed quickly, the infection can have a negative impact on blood pressure. While some swelling is common, gums that continue to swell and bleed could indicate more serious underlying issues that should be handled as soon as possible. This problem is more common among adults who get braces but who have undetected dental issues. If you have persistently swollen and bleeding gums, don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist for an emergency check up.

Detached Archwire

An archwire that has come out of place can cause an emergency, and you’ll need to know what to do when your braces wire comes out. This wire can pierce your cheeks or gums and cause unnecessary damage. However, this is an issue that can be temporarily remedied at home. Simply push the wire back in place so that it doesn’t cause harm. You can also trim the wire so that it doesn’t poke out and puncture the skin. During your next appointment, your orthodontist will redo the brackets and wire.

Stuck-on Food

Most people take oral hygiene for granted. It takes just a few minutes each day to brush, floss, and rinse your teeth. When you’re wearing braces, however, this becomes quite an event. There are times when food gets lodged in hard-to-reach places, and orthodontists must remove the particles while working around braces or after they remove the braces. When food is lodged into the gums, you’ll want to remove it quickly to avoid bacterial overgrowth that leads to oral infection.

Some foods that get lost among the collection of brackets and wiring can cause severe pain. You’ll need to search the internet for an emergency orthodontist near me¬†to properly handle this orthodontic emergency.

Missing Rubber Bands

Many braces solutions use small rubber bands to help keep archwires in place. If the braces rubber band broke, you won’t need emergency braces repair. Broken or missing rubber bands are so common that orthodontists often send their patients home with extras and instruct them about how to put them in place.

Orthodontist Emergency Care Kit

When you or your child gets braces, it’s time to think about preparing for orthodontic emergencies. Besides searching the internet for an “emergency orthodontist near me,” you’ll want to gather some items to create a braces emergency kit.

A lot of orthodontic issues are caused by wires that refuse to stay in place. They can produce a lot of discomfort as they protrude into cheeks and gums. Your orthodontists will tell you what to do when wire comes out of braces. Most suggest that you cover rough or sharp sections of your braces with orthodontic wax to shield your mouth from irritation.

When an archwire comes loose, it’s common for your orthodontist to recommend that you trim the wire so that it doesn’t interfere with your daily activities such as talking and eating. You’ll want to add a pair of nail clippers or small wire cutters to your orthodontist emergency kit.

In summary, a good orthodontist emergency kit has these items.

  • Small wire cutter
  • Orthodontic wax
  • Dental mouth mirror
  • Floss
  • Table salt
  • Wire pusher
  • Interdental brush

Things You Can Do to Prevent Orthodontic Emergency

True orthodontics emergencies often involve trauma that happens while playing sports. Timing may be the key to avoiding this type of orthodontic emergency. If you know that your child wants to participate in a contact sport in high school, consider having her fitted for braces as early as possible during her middle school years. When she reaches her high school years, she will be ready to shine on the court. Wearing a mouthguard offers protection when physical contact is unavoidable.

One of the best things that you can do to prevent an orthodontist emergency is to follow your orthodontist’s care instructions. You’ll need to keep up your oral hygiene routine using special techniques for brushing and flossing with braces.

See Also: How to choose an orthodontists 

Orthodontist Emergency Conclusion

The next time that you have issues with your bracket braces or experience other orthodontic emergencies, see if they fit into any of the above categories. If they don’t, wait until normal business hours to talk to your orthodontist about the problem. He or she can set up an appointment to examine you further and give you more tips for at-home care while you wait. If you are searching for the best orthodontist near me, call Elara Orthodontics today and learn more why we are considered as the best affordable orthodontists in Huston areas.

There are some problems that must be addressed promptly, however. When searching for dental services such as emergency orthodontic care, you’ll want to consider Elara Orthodontics in Richmond Texas. We are a full-service orthodontist practice that excels at providing high-quality treatment options at affordable prices. Call us today to schedule an appointment. We offer services for both orthodontic emergencies as well as non-emergencies.

See Also: How Long Do Braces Take