Orthodontic Emergencies

Quality Orthodontic Treatment in Dothan, AL

Man holding his face because he has a toothache

At Wiregrass Orthodontics, we believe everyone deserves a smile they feel proud to show off. That's why our experienced Dothan, AL orthodontist, Dr. John P. Howell, works closely with patients to design personalized, effective orthodontic treatments, customizing each treatment course to fit perfectly into the lifestyles of our patients. We offer a wide range of orthodontic treatment options ranging from metal braces to Invisalign clear aligners – and in the rare case that you experience an orthodontic emergency, we're here to help.

What Is an Orthodontic Emergency?

Thankfully, true emergencies are very rare during orthodontic treatment. But whether you're experiencing a minor problem that can be fixed at home or have a true orthodontic emergency, we can help. If you ever notice a problem with your braces, have an issue with Invisalign aligners, or experience intense pain during treatment, please call us as soon as possible at (334) 792-1000. We'll help determine what the best course of action is, and if necessary, we'll schedule an emergency appointment right away. Even if you already have an appointment scheduled, you should call to let us know if you're having an issue, as we can make the necessary preparations for a repair.

That said, many problems can be fixed at home or with a phone call. Contact us if you experience any of the following issues and we'll walk you through the next steps.

Lost Separator

Losing a separator during treatment is very common and usually not a big deal. If you do lose a separator, simply give us a call to determine if it needs to be replaced.

Soreness & Discomfort During Orthodontic Treatment

Mild discomfort is a normal part of any orthodontic treatment, especially in the period after getting braces, having an adjustment appointment, or switching to a new pair of Invisalign aligners. The discomfort should fade after a few days and you can manage it with over the counter pain relievers like Tylenol. Other tricks include gargling lukewarm saltwater or using a warm washcloth or heating pad to reduce soreness in the jaws. If you ever experience severe, intense pain, or if the pain doesn't fade on its own, call us to see if it's an issue.

Irritating Wires

Another common issue for patients is a wire that pokes out of place or irritates the cheeks or gums. If this happens to you, try using a cotton swab or a clean pencil eraser to move the wire into a new position. If you can't move it, try covering it with a piece of dental wax or cotton. If it continues to cause pain, you can cut it using a pair of sterilized nail clippers, but please call us before attempting this.

Loose Bracket

If a bracket starts to come loose, you should call us as soon as possible to see if it needs to be fixed. If the bracket comes off entirely but is still attached to the archwire, cover it with a piece of wax and call us immediately. If you ever have to cut an archwire to slide off a bracket, do so carefully using a pair of sterilized nail clippers and keep any piece of your braces you remove. Then, call us immediately to schedule a repair appointment.

Loose Wire

If a wire comes loose, you can use a pair of sterilized tweezers to put it back in position. If that doesn't work, cover it with dental wax and call us to schedule a repair appointment. If you have to cut the wire, do so with sterilized nail clippers right behind the last bracket that's still attached – and again, call us immediately to schedule a repair.

What to Do if Headgear Doesn't Fit

Headgear that causes discomfort is usually a sign that you're not wearing the headgear long enough, so before anything else, make sure you're wearing the headgear for the requisite number of hours each day. However, if the facebow gets bent or the headgear is otherwise damaged, don't try to fix it yourself: call us to schedule a repair.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Ozark & Enterprise, AL Orthodontist

For most patients, treatment goes off without a hitch and none of these problems occur. However, if you experience any of these issues or have another orthodontic emergency, we encourage you to reach out to us at our contact page for guidance and to schedule a repair appointment. We look forward to hearing from you, and we're excited to help you achieve your new smile – hopefully free from orthodontic emergencies!

Wiregrass Orthodontic Specialists

  • Dothan Office - 100 O’Brannon Park Dr., Dothan, AL 36303 Phone: 334-792-1000
  • Enterprise Office - 557 Glover Ave. #1, Enterprise, AL 36330 Phone: 334-347-6777
  • Ozark Office - 317 James St., Ozark, AL 36360 Phone: 334-792-1000

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