Ridge Meadows Othrodontics

What Constitutes an Orthodontic Emergency?

Posted in Articles, Living With Braces

What Constitutes an Orthodontic Emergency?

What constitutes a true orthodontic emergency is not always clear to everyone. We hope the following will shed some light on the issue, and let you know what you should do if you do have an emergency.


How much discomfort or soreness is normal when it comes to orthodontic treatment?

Orthodontic treatment isn't normally painful, but throughout treatment there will be times that your mouth, teeth, and jaw may feel sore, tender, and occasionally, painful.

When your braces are first applied is one of these times. This is simply because your teeth and mouth will need some time to adjust to the braces, so during the days following your braces application, your teeth may feel tender, and the new braces may irritate the inside of your cheek and lips.

Your mouth will grow accustomed to the braces very quickly, however, and you be feeling normal again in no time.

Another time you may feel some discomfort during orthodontic treatment is after an adjustment appointment (or, if you’re using Invisalign, after you change to the next set of aligners).

Your teeth may feel somewhat sore for a little while after this, for much the same reason as when your orthodontic treatment was first applied: they need to adjust to the new pressure. Again, this will pass fairly quickly.

The above mentioned types of discomfort are not considered emergencies.

To treat any discomfort you feel after your braces are applied or after adjustments, you can simply take an over-the-counter pain killer, or use a salt water rinse to flush your mouth out. You can also ice your face a bit to soothe any inflammation.

As your teeth begin to move, your wires can start poking the insides of your cheeks. If you feel this happening, use a blunt object (such as a spoon) to get the wire out of the way temporarily. Then, make an appointment with us. We can clip off the excess wire, and make the necessary adjustments.

So what is an orthodontic emergency?

Orthodontic emergencies are either

  • when you’re feeling intense pain that can’t be quelled using the methods described above, or
  • if your orthodontic appliance or braces are broken, or if a wire is jabbing painfully into your cheek, and you can’t temporarily fix it yourself.

Please call our office as soon as possible if you find yourself either of these situations, and we’ll be sure to fit you in.

In the meantime, ice the affected area. And if any parts of your orthodontic appliance or braces has broken off try to find it, and bring it along with you to your appointment.

If you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment or think you may have an orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ridge Meadows Orthodontics. We can help!

Book your No Obligation Smile Consultation today with Ridge Meadows Orthodontics.