How To Handle An Orthodontic Emergency
Orthodontic emergencies are rare, but it’s still important to be prepared for them so that they don’t impact your treatment if they do happen. As a rule, if you experience severe pain or have an appliance problem you can’t take care of on your own, call our office and schedule an appointment for orthodontic emergency care.
There are actually quite a few things you can do if something goes wrong with your orthodontic appliance. Many of these orthodontic emergencies are unique to traditional braces rather than clear aligners like Invisalign.
If the band or bracket is still attached to the archwire, leave it there and use wax to alleviate any discomfort. If it comes completely loose, wrap it in tissue and call us to schedule a repair appointment. Don’t just wait until your next regular appointment to deal with orthodontic emergencies like these, because broken orthodontic appliances can delay treatment!
If you can, put the wire back in place using tweezers or needle nose pliers. You can also use a piece of dental floss to tie the wire in place, and as a last resort, you can use nail clippers to trim the wire behind the last bracket it is securely attached to. If the wire is uncomfortable, place wax over it and schedule a repair appointment.
If a wire from your braces is poking out, you can use a pencil eraser to push it down or use wax to cover it. Make sure that the wire that is poking you is dry and clean before you cover it with wax. Also, remember to remove the wax before eating and brushing your teeth.
Each time you get your braces tightened, you may feel soreness in your mouth that can make it difficult to chew. You can relieve this discomfort by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water (just make sure not to swallow it). Over-the-counter pain medication can also help, and you can use wax to cover any parts of your appliance that cause irritation to your cheeks, lips, or tongue.
The Rare Major Orthodontic Emergency
Much less often, a patient may have to deal with a more serious emergency in the course of their orthodontic treatment. Having a plan in place is a good idea in case this happens. Examples of a major orthodontic emergency include:
- Severe oral/facial pain
- Swollen/infected gums or major swelling around the face
- A traumatic injury to the mouth, teeth, or face
In the unlikely event that you experience any of these, call our office immediately to schedule an orthodontic emergency care appointment, but if the problem affects more than just your orthodontic appliance, prioritize your health by going to the emergency room first. Once you’ve been treated for injuries, call us so that we can address the problems with your braces.
How Dr. Raineri Orthodontics Can Help
Sometimes an orthodontic emergency is not one you can solve yourself, and that’s where we come in. If the problem is with your orthodontic appliance, call us at (315) 457-4900 to schedule a repair appointment and orthodontic emergency care. If you sustain a traumatic injury to the mouth (such as a sports injury or accident), you might need to immediately visit the emergency room, but make sure to notify our office and your general dentist.
If you have questions about other things you can do to protect your braces, both to prevent accidents and to prepare for them, we’re happy to give you answers. We’re also ready to supply you with extra orthodontic wax and rubber bands to add to your orthodontic emergency kit! You can learn more about us on our business page, and make sure to get directions before heading to our Liverpool or our Baldwinsville office.