Orthodontic Emergencies | What You Can Do Before Your Next Appointment

Dealing with discomfort is a common occurrence for those undergoing orthodontic treatment for the first time.  It usually takes a few days or weeks for a new patient to feel comfortable as their mouth adjusts to wearing braces.  Eventually, discomfort will reach a minimum and patients tend to not even notice it anymore.

However, there are certain orthodontic emergencies that pop up and can bring a sudden wave of discomfort.  Most cases need only a simple repair but can still be troubling as you wait for your local orthodontist to fix the issue.  We thought it’d be a good idea to pass along some tips for dealing with common orthodontic emergencies until you can make it in for an appointment.

Dealing With General Soreness

This is a typical complaint, especially among new patients, but is rarely an emergency that your family orthodontist needs to fix.  If you’re experiencing general soreness it’s a good idea to stick to soft foods for a few days to see if the discomfort persists. Another good way to reduce pain is to rinse your mouth with a mild saltwater solution.  In addition to reducing soreness, a saltwater gargle has also been shown to reduce mouth bacteria as well, so it’s a win-win.

Temporary Fixes

Occasionally, patients encounter situations where their straightening appliance malfunctions and cause problems.  Here’s a quick look at 3 of the most likely issues you’ll encounter and how you can deal with them.

Loose Bracket

Broken brackets happen from time to time with traditional braces.  If the broken brace has fallen off completely, the only thing you can do is put it in a safe place and make sure you bring it to your next appointment.  If the bracket is still attached it’s best to leave it in place and wait for your WNY orthodontist to fix it. If a broken bracket is still attached but protruding, you can cover it with some dental wax to reduce irritation.

Loose Wire

Usually the best thing you can do is try to readjust its position with a pair of tweezers or pliers.  If you can get it back in place great! If not, just try and move it to a more comfortable position until you get into your orthodontist’s office.  If you’re unable to move the wire to a better location, you can clip off the troublesome section to get it out of the way. This should only be used as a last resort if the pain becomes too much until your next appointment.

Poking Wire

Similar to dealing with a loose wire, you can simply try to push a poking wire back in place or out of the way.  A pencil eraser makes a good tool here that won’t hurt you or damage your braces if it happens to slip. If a protruding wire is too uncomfortable, you can add some dental wax to it to help avoid cuts, scrapes and bruises on the inside of your mouth.

Knowing how to deal with minor orthodontic emergencies can make your child’s braces experience a lot easier.  While these tips can be a great help, they are all meant only as temporary solutions. As soon as you notice any braces issues, the best thing to do is to call your local orthodontist and set up an appointment as soon as possible.

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