No one ever expects a dental emergency to interrupt their day, but 1 in 6 Americans will face at least one each year. Besides knocked-out teeth and toothaches, orthodontic emergencies can also occur. If you’re like most people, you may not even know what situations require immediate care. There’s no need to worry. Your orthodontist has 5 tips to help you through common orthodontic problems.
Do I Need to Call an Emergency Orthodontist?
Throughout orthodontic treatment, you can be presented with a variety of situations. If you aren’t prepared, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by a sudden problem. The first thing you need to do is calm down, and then assess the concern. Some issues can be resolved at home while others may need immediate attention. Here’s how to determine if you need an emergency orthodontist.
Food Caught in Teeth
Getting food caught in braces is inevitable. While it is uncomfortable, it’s not an emergency. Often, the food can be removed with dental floss or an interproximal brush. If you can’t remove the debris at home, it’s time to give your orthodontist a call.
Ligatures are tiny rubber bands that hold the wire to the bracket. Sometimes, a ligature can pop off. You can put it back into place using clean tweezers. If the ligature can’t be put back on, your brackets may become loose because of the uneven pressure. It’s best to notify your orthodontist right away if a ligature is damaged.
Over time, the end of a wire can come out of place, causing it to poke into the cheek, gum, or another area in the mouth. Often, a Q-tip or pencil eraser can be used to push the wire back into a more comfortable position until you’re able to see your orthodontist.
Loose Bracket or Wire
A bracket or wire can come loose for several reasons. No matter the cause, you need to contact your orthodontist right away. If it’s not treated quickly, it not only delays the treatment plan, but it can also result in an oral injury.
Wires and brackets can cause some irritation to the inside of the lips and cheeks. Often, applying dental wax to the problematic bracket or wire will resolve the issue; however, if it doesn’t improve, it’s best to contact your orthodontist. In the meantime, a topical anesthetic, like Ora-Gel, can alleviate discomfort.
Don’t Wait to Call Your Orthodontist
If you aren’t sure if an issue requires immediate care, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry. Don’t hesitate to contact your orthodontist. They will explain what you can do at home and if you need to go into their office right away.
About Dr. Aaron DeMaio
Dr. Aaron DeMaio improves his patients’ lives by providing healthy, beautiful smiles. He can resolve a variety of bite and alignment issues using the latest innovations in orthodontics. He’s always there for his patients, even during times of emergency. If you have an orthodontic issue that needs immediate attention, contact our office right away.