What To Do If You Have A Braces Emergency
True emergencies involving braces and Invisalign are rare, but when they do occur, Studio32 Orthodontics is here for you!
As a general rule of thumb, call our office if you experience severe oral pain. Our team will schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullally to resolve the problem. For your convenience, we also give patients our cell phone numbers in the event a braces emergency occurs outside regular business hours — call right away if you need us!
Oftentimes, we can work together to find a solution over the phone. During a braces emergency, many patients come to the office but are surprised to learn that there are multiple temporary solutions that can be done without the help of one of our orthodontists. If there is an emergency issue, we will work with you to alleviate discomfort until one of our orthodontists is able to remediate the issue during a scheduled appointment. Allowing the appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan. If you need immediate assistance with braces or Invisalign, don’t hesitate to contact us.
What Is A Braces Emergency?
Instead of “emergencies”, our team prefers to address these situations depending on the issue at stake. With a little know-how, most situations are manageable and can provide temporary relief until your next appointment. But if the pain intensifies or you experience sudden bleeding, contact us immediately.
The band is a metal ring placed around the back teeth that occasionally comes loose. While it can be irritating, some patients tolerate a loose band until their next appointment. But, the health of your back teeth can be affected by a long-term loose band. Loose bands can accumulate food particles and cause decay to the teeth over time. While the band is in place, it blocks bacteria and other particles from causing enamel erosion and eventually decalcification on the teeth.
Broken Braces Or Brackets
A broken bracket is generally easy to identify. If the bracket isn’t attached to the tooth, it’s broken. It may also be off-centered, rotated, or sliding with ease along the archwire. Use dental wax to secure the bracket to the tooth and call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mullally.
A loose or broken wire is an annoyance that causes a repairable sore spot in the cheek. But, if the wire — or any part of your braces — poke and/or protrudes enough to cause bleeding, call our office right away. Cover the exposed end of the wire with dental wax to lessen the impact on the cheek tissue.
If you have a loose expander, contact Dr. Mullally, an emergency orthodontist, immediately. Don’t activate or turn the expander until Dr. Mullally has looked at the appliance and corrected the issue. Usually, the expander can be pushed back onto the tooth in the meantime.
Swallowed Elastics & Other Appliances
Consider these situations rare — but they do happen. Occasionally, bits of dental wax and a stray elastic are swallowed by patients. If you do or think you may have swallowed one of these materials, don’t panic. These items are small and will move through the digestive tract quickly.
Tips For Soothing Braces Pain During An Emergency
Whether it’s an emergency or a sudden irritation, pain for all types of braces can impact your daily activities. The team at Studio32 Orthodontics provides these three easy tips for soothing the pain and reminds all patients to not hesitate and to contact our office with any questions!
Apply Dental Wax
You’ve probably heard other braces-wearers sing the praises of dental wax and there are plenty of reasons why. Technically considered an edible product, dental wax acts as a protective barrier between oral tissue and appliances used on your braces. So when a brace emergency crops up, for example, applying more dental wax generally eases discomfort until Dr. Mullally can repair a broken wire.
Rinse With Salt Water
Rinsing with saltwater daily can aid in healing sores and other tender spots created during a braces emergency. Mix one teaspoon of salt in a standard-sized glass of warm water then swish the solution inside your mouth before spitting it out.
Use A Heating Pad
Heating pads can soothe more than sore muscles. A heating pad or warm washcloth applied to the sore spot can reduce the pain. Also, drinking warm liquids, such as tea, may provide temporary relief.
Contact Our Orthodontist
Some dental emergencies warrant an in-person right away to remediate the problem, so don’t hesitate to contact our office for assistance. We are dedicated to ensuring patients achieve healthy, beautiful smiles.