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Holiday Care: Managing Orthodontic Emergencies For Braces and Aligners

The late fall and winter months are full of holiday cheer and fun-filled events. It’s also a time when orthodontic patients become less consistent about maintaining their smile care routine. We’re talking about weeks of parties, travel, and food (especially the food) – then BOOM: you’ve got an emergency situation on your hands days before New Years Eve. 

The key to addressing an ortho snafu is, first and foremost, don’t panic. This guide not only provides tips and tricks to surviving the bustling holiday season with braces and aligners; it will help patients quickly and effectively manage these unfortunate events. 

Here’s how to tackle ortho emergencies during the holidays. 

What’s an Ortho Emergency?

emergencies for braces and aligners

Orthodontists everywhere understand that accidents happen. Even the most seasoned and disciplined patients encounter them. And an important part of one’s orthodontic journey is being able to identify and mitigate emergency situations. 

In the event of an ortho 9-1-1, there are steps one can take to minimize discomfort and prevent further damage. First, assess the situation. 

Common braces issues

  • Broken brackets
  • Poking or rogue wires
  • Severe pain

Common clear aligner issues 

  • Lost or damaged aligners
  • Stuck aligners

Second, if traveling is in one’s near future, it’s highly recommended to have the following supplies on hand:

Emergency Travel Kit Necessities

  • Dental Wax
  • Toothbrush
  • Small Mirror
  • Plastic Wire Pusher
  • Extra set of aligners
  • Case

Third, bookmark this blog because this next section puts that kit to work.

Common Ortho Solutions

  • Protruding wire or broken bracket? Apply dental wax.
  • Poking wire? Carefully bend away from the area with a plastic wire pusher. 
  • Lost or damaged aligners? Pop in that spare set. In a pinch, wearing the previous set is a temporary solution. 

Lastly, pick up that smartphone.

To Call or Not to Call Your Orthodontist

Call. The answer is call. Even The American Association of Orthodontists says so.

“If there is an urgent need during this time–for example if you are in pain, or an injury has occurred,” says the AAO, “your orthodontist should be notified and you should call for an emergency appointment.”

Not only is it important to communicate with your orthodontist, it’s key for families to maintain open lines of communication. Especially for younger patients, there may be a fear to notify parents or guardians about ortho accidents. Simply put, these situations left unaddressed can lead to other issues and, possibly, extend treatment time.

How to Keep the Holiday Party Going

Thankfully, the occurrences mentioned above are usually preventable. Avoid throwing a wrench in your holiday plans by avoiding foods and behaviors that pose risks to a patient’s orthodontic journey. 

For existing patients well into their braces and aligner wear, keep up those great habits you’ve worked so hard to maintain all year. If you’re new addition to the Truman Orthodontics family, here’s what to avoid:

For Braces

  • Eating Hard or Sticky Foods
  • Chewing on one’s nails

For Aligners

  • Eating While Wearing Aligners
  • Leaving Trays Out
  • Smoking

Don’t forget – keeping up that hygiene routine is also key to preventing holiday hurdles. That means brushing, flossing, and cleaning your smile gear as usual. 


If you are experiencing any issues or are due for a follow-up appointment, the TruCrew is here to help. Get on the calendar for 2024 and let’s keep that TruSmile on track. 

About Truman Orthodontics – Henderson

Truman Orthodontics-Henderson provides the highest quality orthodontic care in a family-oriented high-technology practice. Combining the right mix of personal care, high technology, and continuing education, we maintain a commitment to our patients in every facet of our practice to ensure that every patient achieves a healthy and beautiful smile. For more information, visit www.trumanortho.com.

Posted By Truman Office Category: General Post Date: December 7, 2023