Orthodontic Emergencies

If you’re thinking about braces, you’ve undoubtedly visited orthodontists, perhaps product manufacturers, and websites offering advice about orthodontic treatment.


At McDonald Orthodontists, Dr. John and his warm, friendly, and professional staff are ready to welcome you to our Salem, OR office.

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a specialty in dentistry that helps patients with problems related to their bite alignment and teeth straightening; we achieve this realignment using braces.

Some of the common issues solved by using orthodontics include:

  • Underbite: When the lower jaw extends over the upper jaw.
  • Overbite: When the upper jaw extends too far over the lower jaw.
  • Crossbite: When upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth.
  • Upper front teeth protrusion: Either the upper teeth extend too far, or the lower teeth don’t extend far enough.
  • Crowding: When teeth don’t have enough room.
  • Spacing: When there is too much room between teeth (or teeth are missing entirely).
  • Open Bite: When there is no overlap between the upper and lower front teeth.
  • Dental midline mismatch: When back teeth do not align properly.

Orthodontic Emergencies in Salem

Just because braces are some of the most reliable orthodontic appliances at our disposal, it doesn’t mean there is no risk of sudden emergencies or potential discomfort. Since braces are usually made of metal brackets and wires, the most common emergencies that they can cause are:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling

Other minor issues you can face while undergoing your treatment with braces are:

  • Mouth Sores
  • Rubbing Irritations
  • Loose brackets
  • Problems with wires

Tools to keep handy

Once installed, you should never alter your braces; however, there are tools that can help prevent or alleviate problems. Our McDonald Orthodontic office in Salem recommends that patients should always keep the following items on hand.

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: It’s important to keep both your smile, teeth, and braces as clean as possible.
  • Dental Floss or Flossers: These two are always your best friend and an excellent tool to remove food from around your braces.
  • Dental Wax: The perfect companion that acts as a cushion between your braces and the rest of your mouth, protecting you from a poking wire that may irritate your cheek, gums, or lips.

Contact Our Salem Emergency Orthodontists Now!

Whether you need a routine treatment or are having an orthodontic emergency in Salem, Dr. John will take the time to evaluate and then craft a unique treatment plan that works with your time, finances, and specific orthodontic needs. Schedule your visit with us today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Orthodontic emergencies are all the situations that could endanger your orthodontic appliances or delay your treatment. These situations are not life-threatening but should still be regarded as dangerous and worthy of immediate attention. Making sure you know how to identify an orthodontic emergency is the first step in being able to solve them.

Some situations that could qualify as an orthodontic emergency include loose brackets, poking wires, or lost aligners. All these situations have two things in common. First, they may damage your orthodontic appliance or compromise its integrity in any way. Second, if you leave the situation unattended, it can cause significant delays and add more time to your overall treatment length.

There are several things you can try, but most will depend on the nature of your orthodontic emergency. The first thing you should try is contacting your orthodontist to receive additional instructions on what you can do. Likewise, you should consider a few DIY methods that enable a quick and temporary solution that could prevent any damage. There’s a caveat, though. DIY solutions are not definitive solutions, and you might become susceptible to orthodontic relapse.

Yes. A broken bracket or loose bracket is an orthodontic emergency. You could swallow a piece of metal on accident, or the tooth might stop moving at the same time as the rest of your dental structures, throwing the entire treatment off balance. If you notice you have trouble with your brackets, you should get in touch with your orthodontist immediately to request an appointment and a definitive solution to this problem.

Considering which are some of the most common orthodontic emergencies, you should avoid eating foods or drinking beverages your orthodontist warned about. Avoiding anything that could damage your brackets or clear aligners is the right way to go.