vancouver Orthodontics

What Constitutes an Orthodontic Emergency?

Posted in Articles, Living With Braces

What Constitutes an Orthodontic Emergency?

What's the difference between the normal discomfort that comes from time to time with wearing braces, and a true orthodontic emergency? This is not always totally clear to everyone, so we'd like to shed some light on the issue, and let you know what to do if you do have an emergency.


First, it will help to know what kinds of pain and soreness are normal during orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontic treatment is not typically painful, but you will find that there will be are times throughout treatment when your mouth, teeth, and jaw may feel sore, tender, or painful.

For example, when your braces are first applied, your teeth and mouth will need some time to adjust. During the days following your braces application, your teeth will feel a bit tender, and the new braces may irritate the inside of your cheek and lips.

Don’t worry! This may be uncomfortable for a while, but your mouth will adjust, and you be feeling normal again in no time.

You may also feel some discomfort after your adjustment appointments (or, if you’re using Invisalign, shortly after you change from your previous aligners to the next set).

Your teeth will need time to adjust to the new position and pressure of the braces, and  Again, this will pass quite soon.

the above examples are normal, and not considered emergencies. To deal with the day to day discomfort you experience during treatment, take an over-the-counter pain killer, or flush your mouth out with a salt water wash. Or, you can ice your face a bit to soothe any inflammation.

You may also find that as your teeth move, your wires may start to poke the inside of your cheek. If this happens, use a blunt object to get it out of the way temporarily, and then make an appointment with us, so we can clip back the excess wire.

So what is an orthodontic emergency?

Orthodontic emergencies are either

  • intense pain that can’t be quelled with a common painkiller, ice, or salt water wash, or
  • broken braces and orthodontic appliances, or wires jabbing painfully into your cheek that you can't fix yourself

Please call our practice as soon as possible if you experience either of these situations, and we’ll do our best to get you a same-day appointment.

In the meantime, ice the affected area if it’s painful. And if any parts of your orthodontic appliance or braces has come off try to find it, and bring it along with you to your appointment.

If you have any questions about your orthodontic treatment or think you may have an orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Vancouver Orthodontics. We can help!

Book your NO OBLIGATION Smile Consultation today at Vancouver Orthodontics!