When you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, there are times when problems arise; in these cases, it is important to know what to do. There are also situations when an orthodontic emergency occurs and it becomes necessary to take quick action. This article will describe the most common orthodontic emergencies, provide actions to take when they occur, and offer preventative tips.
Before discussing orthodontic emergencies, it is important to understand the basics of orthodontic care. Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of dental and facial abnormalities. An orthodontist is a dental specialist who is trained to recognize orthodontic problems and to provide treatment that avoids future oral health complications. Common orthodontic treatments include braces, fixed dentures, inflatable devices, and clear aligners.
Common Orthodontic Emergencies
An orthodontic emergency is a problem that requires immediate attention and action. Some of the most common orthodontic emergencies that might arise include:
- Broken or damaged braces, wires, or bands.
- Loose or poking wire.
- Mouth or lip abrasions from braces or wires.
Actions to Take In Case of Orthodontic Emergency
If an orthodontic emergency occurs, it is important to take immediate action. Broken or damaged braces, wires, bands, or tube can be very painful. In this case, it is important to call your orthodontist’s office as soon as possible to make an appointment to have the problem fixed. It may be necessary to have a small piece of wax placed over the sharp area to provide temporary relief.
If a wire is sticking out or poking, it can be painful and irritating. To protect the mouth and provide temporary relief, it is a good idea to cover the wire with orthodontic wax. If this is unsuccessful in preventing pain, it is important to call your orthodontist’s office to have the wire clipped. Loose braces, wires, or bands should also be taken care of by the orthodontist and should not be attempted to fix at home.
Mouth or lip abrasions from braces or wires can be very painful. In this case it is important to rinse the area with warm water, apply a small amount of over-the-counter numbing agent, and apply orthodontic wax over the sharp edge to protect the area. If the abrasions do not improve with these measures, it is important to make an appointment with the orthodontist to have the wires or brackets adjusted.
Preventing Orthodontic Emergencies
While some orthodontic emergencies cannot be prevented, there are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of a problem occurring. The first step is to follow the orthodontist’s instructions for care of braces and other orthodontic appliances. This includes brushing and flossing regularly and avoiding hard or sticky foods. In addition to following the orthodontist’s instructions, it is important to wear mouth guards when participating in contact sports to protect the orthodontic appliances from damage.
Regular orthodontic checkups are also an important part of the overall care and an excellent way to prevent problems from occurring. While it is natural for the brackets to move and the tooth changes shape, it is important to keep up with regular dental appointments to make sure everything is progressing as it should. If something does not look or feel right, do not hesitate to call the orthodontist’s office for an evaluation. Orthodontic emergencies can be scary, but with proper attention and action, they can be effectively treated. It is important to follow the orthodontist’s instructions and take precautions to minimize the risk of an emergency. If an orthodontic emergency occurs, it is important to take immediate action and make an appointment with the orthodontist to have the problem repaired. With the proper care, routine checkups, and preventative measures, the risk of an orthodontic emergency occurring can be greatly reduced.