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How to Handle Common Pediatric Orthodontic Emergencies During Quarantine

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emergency sign for orthodontist in powellEven though we’re all stuck at home right now due to quarantine, this unfortunately doesn’t eliminate the possibility of pediatric orthodontic emergencies in Powell. Any parent will tell you that life is unpredictable with children despite everyone being in the same place for weeks at a time! While these situations can be scary, there are proven ways to handle them that can reduce pain and ensure a child’s treatment stays on track.


The most common dental issue has little to do with orthodontics at all—hurting teeth due to a cavity. Dealing with a toothache is already a bit trickier than normal if a child has braces, but this is particularly true during these times when most offices are only open for emergencies.

After rinsing and flossing around the tooth to remove any food debris that might be causing the pain, go ahead and have your child take an OTC medication. Is it still hurting hours later? If so, give their general dentist a call. They may be able to see them for an emergency appointment and fix the problem without messing with their appliance.

Broken Bracket

Did your child take one errant bite of food, and now one of their brackets is out of place? This is a common issue, but thankfully, not always an urgent one. Is the bracket still on the wire? If so, use the eraser end of a pencil to gently push it back into position over the center of a tooth. If the bracket is completely off, try to find it and put it in a safe container. Give your child’s orthodontist a call, and they’ll schedule you to replace it relatively soon.

Lost/Broken Retainer

Retainers seem to disappear just like socks after doing laundry, and this is too bad, because they are an essential part of almost every orthodontic treatment. Without them, a child’s teeth will start to slowly drift back to their original positions. If your child loses or breaks their retainer, contact their orthodontist right away. While you don’t need to rush to the office, getting a replacement within a day or so is ideal so your child’s treatment doesn’t become undone.

Oral Irritation

Does your child have a sore spot on the back of their lip where a bracket is rubbing? Are they being poked by a wire? Some dental wax can quickly address both issues, and you can actually use the eraser end of a pencil to adjust the position of a wire to make it more comfortable.

About the Author

Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is an award-winning orthodontist in Powell who is able to provide completely personalized specialty dentistry for patients of all ages. Right now, his practice is only accepting emergency appointments, but he and his team are more than happy to see patients right away who need help with pain. If your child is uncomfortable because of their orthodontic appliance, just give Shirck Orthodontics a call, and we’ll let you know what to do next. With us, we’ve always got you covered!