Orthodontic Emergencies

Tips on How to Handle Orthodontic Emergencies

Although orthodontic emergencies are rare, sometimes, braces can misbehave. An emergency may arise, pushing you to schedule an emergency visit to your orthodontist. Orthodontic emergencies are very common problems that could occur at some point with braces, including a broken bracket or ligature. It could also include loose wires, discomfort, or pain. If you feel you have a problem that you cannot handle on your own, do not even try to fix it on your own, especially when you are not a professional.

These days, trained orthodontists keep working towards increasing their knowledge on the latest techniques and treatment options for patients who require Invisalign or traditional braces. You should know that a well-experienced orthodontist must have gone through Gerety Orthodontic Seminars or online continuing education to acquire more skills in their profession, leading them to treat any problem successfully.

When such emergencies occur, it is best that you handle them within a week. Here are some tips on how you can deal with these emergencies.

Tell Your Dentist the Exact Problem

No matter what problem your braces give you when you meet the well-qualified orthodontist, you need to tell them everything about the problems your braces give you. In order for the orthodontist to come up with treatment plants, your dentist needs to know the problem. This way, you can save time and money too. Think from the perspective of an orthodontist. You won’t be able to treat an emergency through trial and error without knowing the actual problem. After all, well-trained dentists have the skills to handle any type of emergency, so feel free to tell them what is wrong so they can give you a proper remedy.

Seek Immediate Treatment

When you feel you are stuck with an orthodontic emergency, you should fix an urgent appointment with your doctor. It is not advisable to tolerate the agony for a prolonged time. At such times, it is advisable not to be stubborn about the problem because when you ignore, it could lead to other complications and more agony.

Apart from swelling and pain, you will eventually have to wear the braces a bit longer because you didn’t address the problem immediately. If the wires become loose and the braces fail, it won’t function properly, and you will end up losing your time and money because of that. For this reason, when a problem occurs think about immediate treatment. Ignoring the problems could lead to other complications, including:

  • Missing or loose brackets: if you do not take the problem seriously, it could lead to loose or missing brackets. When this occurs, the brackets move side to side or spin on the bracket wire. When you consult an experienced orthodontist, they would attach the wire, and fix the braces securely and firmly back in place to relief you from the pain.
  • Dislodged separators: sometimes, the separators could fall in or out more than one day before your appointment. To fix such problems, an emergency meeting could help to replace it.
  • Protruding wires: a home tip to keep your protruding wires under control, until you meet the dentist is to use a Q-tip pencil eraser to push the wire in place so that it lies flat against the tooth. However, if you are unable to move the wires into a position that gives you less pain, you can cover it with a relief wax until you visit your dentist.
  • Lost retainers: if the retainers are missing or lost, you need to schedule two meetings, one for an impression and the next to insert new retainers.
  • Broken elastics: if any elastic are missing or broken, this calls for an emergency and you need to visit your dentist as soon as possible.

How to Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies

If you want to avoid emergencies related to braces, here are some pro tips on how you can avoid them.

  1. Food: when you have braces on, avoid foods that could damage your braces. Avoid hard, chewy, crunchy, and sticky foods during the period of wearing braces (usually about two years). Although you may feel that you cannot go without bubble gum, popcorns during this period, hard foods can damage the braces, and stick food could bend the wires.
  2. Gentle brushing and flossing: to keep your braces in good condition and avoid any form of orthodontic emergencies, you need to brush and floss your teeth thoroughly after every meal. Small food particles could be trapped in your braces or between your teeth and lead to other teeth related problems.

Caring for your braces is not a difficult task; however, it is always advisable to consult your orthodontist on a regular basis for the best treatment plans. When any form of emergency occurs, avoid handling the problem all by yourself. Consult your dentist and wait for their treatment to work.

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