What is an Orthodontic Emergency?

Orthodontic appliances are dental devices like braces, aligners, headgear, retainers, etc. used to correct teeth alignment or spacing or jaw function and overall oral health. These are safe and comfortable to wear but some patients experience uneasiness initially.

Unfortunately, you may experience severe uneasiness and pain in the mouth, which hinders your daily routine. For poking wires or other discomfort, you can try orthodontic wax or OTC pain-killers.

These are temporary solutions, which can lead to injury or affect the orthodontic treatments effectiveness. There are certain situations, which need emergency orthodontic care.

If you are a resident around Everett, WA then visit Silver Lake Orthodontics. They offer emergency orthodontic care to their patients.

A qualified orthodontist specialist is the best personnel to give guidance and prompt assistance, during emergencies.

What is considered an orthodontic emergency?

1. Broken or damaged appliance

Appliances can get damaged due to eating sticky or hard food, accidental trauma to your mouth, or wear & tear over time.

Sometimes, the wire or bracket gets detached or loose. You feel irritation inside your mouth, which causes discomfort and the chances of getting your gums or tongue injured increases.

In such a situation, you need to schedule an appointment with the orthodontic clinic for a damaged appliance repair or replacement.

2. Severe pain or soreness

Severe pain and soreness in the gums, jaws or teeth occurs because of several reasons like tightness of wires or braces, shifting of teeth during treatment or underlying dental issues like cavities or infections. You may also experience uneasiness after orthodontic adjustments.

It is temporary but needs close monitoring. If the chronic pain is agonizing, it is vital to look for immediate medical attention to recognize and treat the underlying cause.

3. Loose or lost bands or elastic ties

Bands are metal rings placed around your molars to anchor the braces. Elastic ties are used to connect the wires to the brackets.

If the band or tie becomes loose or falls off, it can impact your treatment’s effectiveness and may need replacement.

If you ignore to address this problem promptly, it can lead to potential complications and delay in treatment progress.

4. Injuries to mouth or face

Bruises, cuts, or broken teeth to your face or mouth can occur due to accidents, sports-related trauma or other unexpected events.

If you have face injuries and experience pain while wearing your orthodontic appliance, don’t hesitate to call the orthodontic clinic to schedule an appointment.

It is vital to seek emergency medical attention to prevent further damage and ensure proper healing.

5. Broken retainers

Retainers are essential for post-care routine to maintain orthodontic treatment results. Retainers are brittle and prone to breaking or bending.

If you experience that the retainer is not fitting properly in your teeth or is broken, then schedule a visit to the orthodontic facility for a replacement.

If you ignore it, then the possibility that you may swallow a tiny piece of the broken retainer during sleep is high.

It is better to visit ASAP without waiting to choke on a broken retainer piece, find it hard to breathe, and get driven to an emergency room.


All the orthodontic issues don’t qualify as emergencies. Small breaks in your appliance don’t cause pain, but it is crucial to inform your dentist about it as they can offer the best guidance on how to manage and prevent such issues from escalating into emergencies.