Emergency Care

Orthodontic emergencies.

Orthodontic Emergencies 

At the office of Dr. Gonzalez, we make your health and safety our first priority. Whether you're visiting our office for the first time or you've been a patient of ours for years, you can be confident that our friendly team will provide the exceptional care you deserve!

Sometimes, though, emergencies do happen and we are always available to help you. Thankfully, orthodontic emergencies are rare. Most are minor and can be handled with a phone call or in the safety of your own home. Being prepared with the knowledge that you need to know in order to appropriately respond will help ensure that you stay on track towards your new smile without any delay. Emergencies can range from minor to severe, but contacting our office is the first step you should take to solve the problem.

24/7 Same Day Emergency Assistance

In the event of an emergency, Dr. Gonzalez is on call for you 24 hours a day. Simply call our office at 210-344-9295, and you will receive instructions on how to contact Dr. Gonzalez if you're calling outside of office operating hours. All emergencies are seen the same day to keep your orthodontic treatment as efficient as possible. 

When you contact us, our staff or Dr. Gonzalez will also provide you with information on what you can do in the time until your appointment to minimize discomfort or avoid damage to your braces or teeth. You can also find this information below so you can be more prepared in the case of an emergency. 

What Is A Major Orthodontic Emergency?

There are only a few true orthodontic (or dental) emergencies. They include:

  • Trauma or injury to the teeth, face or mouth
  • Infection or swelling of the gums, mouth or face
  • Severe, unmanageable discomfort or pain in these areas

In any of these situations, you should seek help as soon as possible by contacting Dr. Gonzalez for emergency care. In the event that you cannot make it to our office for any reason, you can also go to an emergency room for immediate assistance, but you will most likely still need to come to an emergency appointment with Dr. Gonzalez as soon as possible.

Minor Orthodontic Issues & Temporary Fixes

The most common problems that patients experience during orthodontic treatment are minor, but can still result in discomfort or irritation and need to be seen by Dr. Gonzalez. The first and most important step with any issue you encounter is staying calm, and then calling our office. There are quick, temporary solutions that you can do at home to provide some relief. To learn more about what to do for the various, minor orthodontic problems, check out the information below. 

Loose Or Broken Brackets, Bands Or Wires

While brackets are attached to the teeth using a special type of oral cement, enough force can snap the bracket off. While it may not seem like it, biting down on hard, crunchy, or sticky foods such as hard candy can apply enough force to break or at least loosen a bracket. 

If the bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it where it is and don’t attach any elastics to it. To prevent the loose bracket from irritating the inside of your mouth, you can put orthodontic wax over it. If the bracket was completely dislodged, do your best to find it and save it along with any other parts that came loose, since Dr. Gonzalez will be able to reattach it when you bring it into your emergency appointment. 

Poking Archwire, Bracket Or Tie

The archwire that connects all of the brackets of your braces is what is guiding your teeth into their new positions. As the shape of the archwire changes during tooth movement, the end pieces of the wire can start to poke or irritate the skin in the back of the mouth. The archwire may need to be moved or clipped by Dr. Gonzalez, so schedule an appointment right away.

For temporary relief, you can try to carefully move the wire by using a pencil eraser, Q-tip, or tweezers, but be careful not to move it into an area that will cause more pain or discomfort. You can also put orthodontic wax on the end of the wire, which prevents the wire from poking or scraping at the inside of your mouth.

General Tooth Pain Or Loosening

Braces move your teeth by applying a small amount of directional pressure on your teeth, moving them into their new ideal positions. This pressure results in a minor amount of discomfort, which typically fades as you get more accustomed to wearing your braces. To relieve this discomfort, you can take over-the-the-counter pain relievers, or rinse your mouth with an 8 oz glass of water mixed with 1 teaspoon of salt. You can also relieve pain by placing a warm washcloth or heating pad on the outside of the jaw at the source of the pain. 

If you experience discomfort that is more than you can handle, or you notice that a tooth or bracket has become loose, please call our office, we want to see you to assess the source of pain or loosened tooth and make any necessary adjustments. 

Contact Us Anytime For Emergency Assistance

If you have any more questions about any of these orthodontic emergencies or have a situation you’re unsure how to handle, we’re here to help! Feel free to reach out to us or contact our office right away. We will provide you with efficient emergency care and guidance to ensure that your orthodontic treatment is not interrupted, preventing the need to extend the length of your treatment. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you always have access to professional care when you need it most. We hope this information is helpful for you! We look forward to answering any questions you may have and helping you stay on track to achieve the smile of your dreams.