Nobody suddenly expects they will encounter any dental emergency when they are wearing braces. It can occur at any time. Besides having a chipped tooth or knocked-out teeth that can bring about a severe ache in the tooth, orthodontic emergencies are unlikely to occur.
All first-time orthodontic patients should know that, even though it is not common to have orthodontic emergencies, it is important to have proper knowledge of what to do in case of any emergencies. When you are prepared for an orthodontic emergency, it will help put your mind at ease during treatment.
Always involve your orthodontist in every emergency that may occur so that he or she can guide you on the best action plan. If you are losing blood, or have encountered severe pain, consult your emergency orthodontist as quickly as you can.
You must know that emergency orthodontics is not the same as dental emergencies, which involve loose teeth, broken teeth, and fractured teeth. Orthodontic emergencies involve dental emergencies with braces.
There are different types of orthodontic emergencies, and they can occur at any moment during your time of orthodontic treatment. Some of these emergencies may include;
This can happen around the first 2-4 days of getting braces. When adjusting the new braces, you are likely to feel sore for a few days. This can cause the teeth to become tender. Normally, this tenderness will go away within a few days. If it persists for too long, consulting your orthodontist is a great idea.
Cheek And Lip Sores
During the first few weeks of getting braces, due to regular adjustment to fit the mouth, it can cause discomfort in the mouth. This might result in lip and inner cheek sores. The sores are caused by wires and brackets, which are the materials used in making the metal braces.
Wires can become pokey or loose from eating sticky food. Sometimes, wires can begin to protrude if you pick from your braces, and this can be harmful as it can cut through your inner cheeks and your gum, thereby causing bleeding.
Broken Or Loose Brackets And Bands
Your brackets and bands will probably break or become loose, especially when you crunch on sticky or hard food that should be avoided when wearing braces.
This may not be an emergency to worry about except it causes a notable discomfort like the band or bracket, causing a disturbance when eating or if they are hanging down the mouth.
What To Do If There Is An Orthodontic Emergency
Depending on the kind of emergency, you can either consult an orthodontic specialist or solve the problem at home by yourself. Most patients can fix orthodontic emergencies on their own using some tools available for their use.
Loose Or Broken Braces Brackets
Since the bracket will have detached from your teeth, it can only be left hanging and may not cause serious harm. To fix the problem, you can cover the broken or loose braces with wax to ensure comfort.
If it is entirely broken, you can remove it completely. This will not stop your braces from functioning well. You can affix a new one when you visit your orthodontist.
To relieve discomfort in the tooth, you can take painkillers such as Advil or Tylenol. Also, you can chew sugarless gum even though it can be uncomfortable. Chewing will help relieve pain by stimulating the flow of blood.
It may seem as if your teeth are falling out or loosening. This happens because they are adjusting to maintain an accurate position in the mouth. Soon, you will get used to the feeling as you become more familiar with your braces.
Ulcers Or Sores Inside Your Mouth
Due to sores and ulcers inside your mouth because of severe irritation from wearing braces, you can solve this emergency by taking painkillers. It will help your mouth to heal quickly.
However, this pain can also go away on its own, and the sore and ulcer can heal faster if you avoid touching the irritated area with your fingers. You can also cover the affected wire or bracket with wax.
Braces Wire Have Completely Loosened Or Slipped
If the wire on the braces slips off from the molar tube where it was attached, you can fit it back in by yourself using a clean tweezer or your finger.
If you cannot fit it back in the molar tube, you can use a clean nail clipper to clip it in and discard the broken or loose pieces. Since the wire has not left its actual position, treatment will not be disrupted.
Poking Steel Tie
Due to protruding wires from the use of steel braces, you can encounter cuts in your gum, lip, and inner cheek. This emergency can be solved by using soft materials like an eraser from the end of a pencil to push the bracket or wire to its correction position or by covering the unwinding wire or brackets with wax.
Lost Rubber Band
If you lose the rubber band or the elastic that holds the bracket in a perfect position, it is not a serious emergency, as your treatment will not be disrupted.
Since the brackets are fastened around the wire, the elastic band serves as an additional measure to protect the braces. If the wire loosens, fit it back in by pushing gently with a clean tweezer.
It is possible to handle orthodontic emergencies at home even though in few cases, consulting your orthodontist may be a better option.
If you want to wear your braces successfully until your treatment is over, you must be familiar with certain measures by which you can handle any orthodontic emergency you may encounter.
If you have any discomfort in your mouth that you do not understand, have someone around you take a look and help you identify the problem or use a mirror to observe your braces.