Emergency Orthodontist: When Do You Need One?

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Riverside Emergency Orthodontist: When You Need to Call

Do you need a Riverside emergency orthodontist or can it wait? Here’s the definitive guide on when you should call, and when it’s okay to wait.

Let’s say you’re from somewhere out East and you’re here in California visiting family or just on vacation in beautiful Riverside, California. Maybe it’s because oranges are your thing, or you just love the warm weather (but hate the rush of L.A.).

You wake up one morning and realize that something went wrong with your braces. Something is poking your cheek where nothing poked it before and you look inside your mouth to find things out of order.

You Google “orthodontist Riverside” and see you’re near Riverside Emergency Orthodontist. Great! You’ve found us!

Now that you know about us, we would love to see your lovely face come through our doors. But we want your decision to come see us be the right decision for you.

How are you to know if what is happening in your mouth is an emergency or not? Let’s dive in and find out.

1. Riverside Emergency Orthodontist: Why You Could Wait

The best way to figure out if you have an emergency on your hands is to rule out all possibilities until you have the right answer. Let’s look at why you might be able to wait until you can get in to see your orthodontist at home.

A Loose Wire

Your jaws are 40-50 percent more efficient than the jaws of an ape. This means you can bite harder than an ape. When chewing and biting on your food, you are putting a lot of force into each bite and you can accidentally knock things out of order with your teeth.

Sometimes you will loosen an arch wire from the brackets holding it in place. While this may be uncomfortable for you, this is no reason to panic.

Simply take a Q-tip or a pencil eraser and push the wire flat against your teeth. If the wire proves pesky, place some comfort wax on the end of the wire.

Clipping the wire should be a last resort, as you will be in danger of swallowing the wire, and we’re sure your digestive system does not appreciate you poking holes in your gut.

A Loose Bracket

The brackets on your braces are tough little towers secured to your teeth by a strong foundation of powerful adhesive. Normal foods will most likely not break them off, but hard candies and sticky foods can loosen their hold on your teeth.

If you play sports like football or basketball, be aware that any kind of collision to the head or face could cause a bracket to come loose. This is why we recommend you use a mouth guard whenever you play any kind of sport where collision is imminent.

This is slightly more serious than a loose wire, but it is still not an emergency. If you are away from home and need to wait until you can see your orthodontist, then sterilize some tweezers with alcohol and gently slide the bracket along the wire until it rests between two teeth.

A Ligature Band Fail

This bit of your braces holds the wire to the bracket and helps the braces reposition your teeth by applying force. These can either be made of rubber or wire.

If the rubber ligature comes off, simply take sterilized tweezers and push the band back on.

If the band is made of wire, you can remove it with tweezers. If it is simply bent, you can use a pencil eraser or q-tip to bend it back.

Be aware that if one comes loose, others may come loose.

An Invasion of Food

If you’re new to the braces club, you might not yet have realized how many nooks and crannies there are between your braces and your teeth.

While your orthodontist back home may have given you specific advice on food, you may have just been offered a dish you just couldn’t refuse and found yourself with a mouthful of bristles.

Don’t worry, this is normal. Just tie a knot in the middle of a string of floss and run it between your teeth, braces, and gums. Be gentle.

The Rub

Your younger brother may have already nicknamed you Jaws, and if you were ten, you might have played along and chased him along the hallway while he pretended to be James Bond.

And like the infamous villain from Moonraker, your mouth is full of metal. It’s sharp and irritating at times, and it’s not going away anytime soon. Your mouth will be irritated for a while after you get your braces, but it will adjust to the invasion of metal over time.

Your orthodontist should have provided you with some relief wax to help with the discomfort. If you have this, pinch off a piece and place it over the pointy bits that dig into your mouth.

If you don’t have relief wax, a piece of wet cotton or an orange peel should suffice.

Again, the irritation should go away after time, but if this doesn’t subside, call your orthodontist and ask if you need an adjustment.

A Sore Deal

You may have already broken skin with your braces, and sores are no reason to worry. They may be uncomfortable, but as you long as you are keeping your mouth clean, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about infection.

You can buy a topical anesthetic like Ora-Gel or any lidocaine based salve. Use a cotton swab or q-tip to apply the salve and be aware that it might sting at first, but once the pain subsides you will reap mountains of relief.

2. Riverside Emergency Orthodontist: Why You Need One Now

Orthodontic emergencies are actually quite rare. But there are times when you will need to see an orthodontist immediately.

Are you experiencing extreme pain? On a scale of one to “I will maim someone if this pain doesn’t go away soon” is your pain? If it is somewhere around eight or above on the pain scale, you might want to come see us. Something serious might be happening in your mouth.

The other reason to go see an orthodontist: a broken tooth.

If you didn’t have braces and broke a tooth, you could probably wait until you got home to fix the tooth depending on how bad the break was. But with braces, the force braces exert could further damage your teeth.

Call and see if we can fit you in ASAP.


Be patient. The reward of wearing braces outweighs the pain.

And once you’ve alleviated any pain, you can go and enjoy the California sunshine. Have fun and be healthy!