While wearing braces, accidents can happen, potentially leaving you dealing with pain or discomfort. While there are rarely true orthodontics emergencies, little things can seem BIG! With proper planning; however, you can be ready for just about anything!
Top 3 Causes of Orthodontic Emergencies:
- Biting or chewing foods that are on the “do not eat” list.
It can be hard to stop eating your favorite foods that are bad for your braces. Just remember that staying away from braces-damaging foods doesn’t just protect wires and brackets, but also your teeth in braces! Those temporary off-limits foods are off-limits for a reason. They can cause bent wires, broken brackets and broken bands – all of which can delay treatment. Be patient, and before you know it, your teeth will be beautifully straightened, your braces will be off, and you can go back to eating those once off-limit foods – yes, those yummy sticky caramels, chips, and even popcorn!
- Not wearing a mouthguard.
Wearing a mouthguard is a simple, easy and effective way to keep your teeth, lips, gums, and jaws safe as you participate in sports, or rough housing with your siblings or friends! Dr. Igel will provide you with a mouthguard at the start of treatment, or you can find more advanced form-fitting sports guards on our online store.
- Trauma or injury to the mouth.
If you take a hit to the mouth, your braces can actually SAVE your teeth from falling out. But, you could chip or break a tooth from a blow. Should an injury happen, let our office know right away so we can recommend optimal treatment as needed. Sometimes it can wait until your next scheduled appointment and other times we might need to see you sooner.
Common Orthodontic Fixes
Broken or loose brackets: placing orthodontic wax, or applying OrthoDots® over the affected bracket, can ease discomfort. These items can be found on our online store.
If your bracket falls off, notify our office so we can add some extra time at your next appointment to repair it.
Poking Wires: I think we can all agree, poking wires…NOT fun! Again, applying wax or OrthoDots can ease discomfort or, you can try this self-help tip for quick relief: Using a clean tweezer, a cotton swab or an eraser tip, you can push or bend the wire away from your cheek or gum. Using these simple household items could save you a trip to our office.
Mouth sores from your braces: Again, OrthoDots are your friend! Applying these over the brackets that are causing the discomfort, can help. You can also rinse with saltwater (one teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of warm water) to relieve pain and prevent infection or put some topical anesthetic on the painful ulcer on your lips, gums, cheeks or tongue.
As your teeth gradually shift into their new positions, they can feel sore. Rinsing with saltwater can be the cure for achy teeth. If your jaw feels tender, you can apply a heating pad or warm washcloth (on the outside of your jaw) for relief.
Protect Your Investment
Taking good care of your braces is essential to a great orthodontic outcome! Practicing great oral hygiene (brushing and flossing), avoiding broken brackets, and keeping your scheduled appointments with Dr. Igel is the key to a winning smile!
As always, we at Igel Orthodontics look forward to helping you create a beautiful, healthy smile.