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Orthodontic Emergencies

Broken archwires or loose brackets can be painful and cause a disruption in your treatment plan. At Let’s Smile Dental, we are committed to providing the highest quality care for our patients, which includes offering emergency orthodontic services when needed!

We understand that these issues can be uncomfortable and disruptive to your day-to-day life, so we work hard to address them as quickly and efficiently as possible. In no time, we will make repairs and get you back on track with your orthodontic treatment. Below, you will find a quick guide for managing emergencies before making it into the office.

If you experience a broken archwire, be sure to cover it with orthodontic relief wax in order to reduce the chances of it poking and irritating your gums or cheek. If a wire is sticking out, you can also use tweezers to manipulate the position of the wire.

If you have a loose bracket, try to avoid wiggling it as this can cause further damage to the appliance. You can use wax to cover the bracket, so it isn’t protruding into the gum tissue.

Here are some common orthodontic emergencies and how to address them:

  • Loose or broken bracket/band: If a bracket or band comes loose or breaks, call your orthodontist as soon as possible. Don't try to fix it yourself. They will advise you on whether you need to come in for an immediate appointment or if it can wait until your next scheduled visit.
  • Poking wire: If a wire is poking into your cheek or lip, you can try to gently push it back into place using the eraser end of a pencil. If you can't get it back in or it's causing significant pain, cover the end of the wire with orthodontic wax (available at most drugstores) to cushion it. Call your orthodontist and let them know what's happened.
  • Loose wire: A loose wire generally isn't an emergency, but it's still important to call your orthodontist and let them know. Depending on the situation, they may advise you to cut the wire with nail clippers (sterilized with alcohol first) or leave it in place until your next appointment.
  • Severe pain: If you're experiencing severe pain that you can't manage with over-the-counter pain relievers, call your orthodontist right away. They may be able to see you for an emergency appointment.
  • Lost retainer: If you lose your retainer, call your orthodontist and let them know. They may be able to make you a new one right away, or you may need to wait a few weeks. In the meantime, it's important to wear your other retainer as much as possible to avoid any movement in your teeth.
  • Knocked-out tooth: If you knock out a tooth while wearing braces, this is a true dental emergency. Call your orthodontist immediately and see if they can see you right away. If not, go to the emergency room. The sooner you can get treatment, the better the chance of saving the tooth.

Here are some additional tips for dealing with orthodontic emergencies:

  • Keep your orthodontist's emergency contact information handy.
  • Have a dental emergency kit on hand, which may include orthodontic wax, pain relievers, and a small pair of nail clippers.
  • If you play sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your braces and teeth.

Remember, it's always better to err on the side of caution and give Let’s Smile Reston a call if you're unsure about whether something is an emergency.

Emergency orthodontic treatment


Let’s Smile Dental provides comfortable and inconspicuous Invisalign treatment. Enjoy the benefits of straighter teeth without the constraints of traditional braces.


LightForce 3D Orthodontics

Tired of lengthy orthodontic treatment? Let's Smile Dental offers LightForce, a revolutionary system with custom 3D-printed brackets for faster, more precise results and a beautiful smile in less time.


Traditional Braces

We offer traditional braces for kids and adults, the most common orthodontic treatment. They effectively correct issues like overcrowding, overbite, and malocclusion for a straighter smile.


Orthodontic Emergencies

EXPERIENCING AN EMERGENCY? We are committed to providing the highest quality care for our patients, including emergency services such as broken archwires or loose brackets and more.


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