Orthodontic Treatment in Salem & Stayton, OR

At Bryan Johnson Orthodontics, our mission is to help each of our patients achieve a beautiful, healthy smile as quickly and conveniently as possible. We strive to make orthodontic treatment fit into the lifestyles of our patients, instead of the other way around – and we offer a variety of treatment options to suit the patients of all ages. We also work hard to be a comprehensive resource to patients during treatment, and while they're rare, we're here to help if you ever experience an orthodontic emergency.

What is an Orthodontic Emergency?

Just about every orthodontic patient will experience some soreness and minor discomfort when they first start their treatment – but how do you know if what you're experiencing crosses the line into becoming an orthodontic emergency?

orthodontic emergencies

Thankfully, true emergencies are exceedingly rare in orthodontic treatment. Even if a problem does require a repair appointment, most issues are relatively minor and won't derail treatment. That said, emergencies can happen – and it's important to be prepared when they do.

The first step is to determine if it's a major, urgent emergency that requires immediate attention or if it's something that can wait until we can bring you in for a repair appointment.

Major Orthodontic Emergencies

Generally, major orthodontic emergencies are those that threaten the health and safety of your teeth, jaws, or mouth. This can include:

  • Injuries or trauma to the cheeks, face, teeth, mouth, or jaws
  • Serious infection or swelling of the mouth, face, or gums
  • Extreme, unmanageable pain in the mouth
  • Any obviously broken tooth
  • Any potential break or injury to the jaw

These kinds of problems are severe, and they warrant immediate medical attention. If you feel your jawbone or mouth is in danger, you should head straight to the emergency room or to your general dentist. These professionals will be equipped with the knowledge, anesthetics, and tools to assess your dental health and perform any repairs necessary to protect the health and integrity of your jaws and teeth.

After you've been treated by a professional and the immediate danger has decided, call us and fill us in on the situation so we can plan the next step for your orthodontic treatment.

Minor Orthodontic Emergencies

Outside of serious, severe emergencies, there are a number of smaller problems you may encounter during your treatment that may or may not require fixing. With any of these issues, the best approach is to try to soothe and calm any immediate discomfort on your own, then call us so we can determine the best course of action.

Loose or Broken Brackets, Bands, or Wires

If your archwires, brackets, or bands break or come loose, we'll need to schedule a repair appointment as soon as possible. If the hardware is merely loose, or if a bracket breaks off but doesn't fall off the archwire, leave it in place for now and give us a call. Try covering it with a bit of dental wax if it's causing discomfort. If a piece of your appliance does fall out, be sure to save it and bring it with you to your treatment appointment. Regardless, call us to let us know of the situation so we can schedule an emergency repair appointment and get your treatment back on track. Learn more here about foods that can break or damage your brackets.

Discomfort From a Braces Poking Into the Mouth

Sometimes, your archwire may start poking out of the back of your braces due to the movement of teeth, irritating your cheeks or gums. In most cases, you can solve this by covering the area in dental wax or using a pencil eraser, Q-Tip, or sterilized pair of tweezers to move the archwire. If it's still an issue, you can cut the end of the wire off using a pair of sterilized nail clippers, but please give us a call before attempting this so we can provide further instruction.

If a wire or bracket is causing irritation and you can't move it, we'd recommend covering it with dental wax. In any case, if the issue continues to be a major problem, feel free to call us to schedule an appointment to fix it.

Loose or Painful Teeth

If you notice your teeth feeling a little looser than normal during treatment, don't worry – that just means treatment is working! Your teeth are on their way to new positions for your gorgeous new smile. In keeping with the looseness, you may also find your teeth feeling more sore than normal. You can use an over-the-counter painkiller, a warm washcloth, or a warm saltwater rinse to help manage this pain. However, if the pain continues to increase or becomes unmanageable, call us so we can discuss the situation.

Contact Your Stayton, Silverton & Salem, OR Orthodontist

In any event, you should call us at 503-362-9548 for our Salem office, (503) 362-9548 for our Stayton office, or (503) 362-9548 for our Silverton office if you feel you're experiencing any orthodontic emergency. If you ever fear the health of your mouth or your life may be in danger, head straight to an emergency room. Thankfully, however, orthodontic emergencies are exceedingly rare – and for most patients, the orthodontic treatment process is simple, convenient, and emergency-free!

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