We know it can be stressful when dental emergencies happen, and you’re not sure what to do. Whether it’s protruding wires, loose brackets, or something else altogether, our team at Dillehay Orthodontics is here to offer you valuable advice on how to handle these situations and give you tips on preventative measures to protect your smile. Always remember, we are here for your orthodontic emergencies!
What is an Orthodontic Emergency?
Emergencies are not reserved for extremely dire situations. There is a spectrum of how serious the problem is and whether or not you need to see Dr. JK in our office. Some, like mouth sores, can be resolved in the comfort of your home.
Don’t forget there are normal aches that come with getting braces. Don’t be alarmed if there is some discomfort after your initial procedure or adjustments! This is normal as your teeth start to shift. If the pain lasts for multiple days or seems to worsen, then please contact us right away!
You Are Not Alone!
With years of experience and knowledge behind them, you can be confident our team at Dillehay Orthodontics can fix whatever complication comes your way.
Urgent Situations and Strategies to Deal With Them
Canker sores, luckily, are more bothersome than alarming. Usually made worse by irritation from braces, they can appear on your gums, tongue, lips, and elsewhere.
What you can do:
- Thoroughly rinse with warm salt water.
- Apply an over-the-counter topical anesthetic (i.e., Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly on the sore with a cotton swab to lessen pain.
Mouth sores typically disappear after a week or two without any other treatment.
Swallowing A Piece Of Your Appliance
Fortunately, this is a rare occurrence! If you leave a loose part of your appliance unattended, you risk swallowing it. Excessive coughing or trouble breathing may indicate something is out of place.
What you can do:
- Stay calm and see if you can spot the loose piece in your mouth.
- Remove it if you can do so without harm; otherwise, do not touch it.
Contact Dillehay Orthodontics as soon as possible so we can help you safely remove the appliance or if you think you have swallowed a piece.
A wire can wiggle itself out of place and irritate your mouth.
What you can do:
- Use a pencil eraser to push it flat against your tooth and into a more comfortable position.
- Use a small piece of non-medicinal relief wax to envelope the wire and avoid scratches.
- If you cannot secure it, you can very carefully clip the wire.
Be sure to call our team and let us know of the issue so we can address it at your next appointment or ask you to come in if the wire continues to be bothersome.
If your braces bracket (the square piece in the center of your tooth) comes loose, you may accidentally cut your gums or tongue, potentially disrupt the teeth alignment process, or even swallow the bracket itself.
What you can do:
- For a temporary fix, carefully use sterile tweezers to slide the bracket back between two teeth, rotate it to the correct position, and then place it back in the center of the tooth.
- Let our team know the situation as soon as possible so our orthodontists can determine the next steps.
Though this is a more serious emergency, don’t worry! By taking the appropriate steps, Dillehay Orthodontics can help you fix this in no time!
Preventative Measures to Protect Your Teeth
One of the best ways to keep your teeth healthy at home is by maintaining your daily oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily is one of the simplest yet most important things you can do. Some other good habits are using a tongue scraper, swishing with mouthwash, and even drinking water!
Making your regular checkups a priority can help solve any minor issues before they fester into larger ones. When Dr. JK examines your teeth, he can ensure all your teeth align correctly, update you on your treatment progress, and help with any questions or concerns.
If you wear braces and play sports, we recommend you invest in a mouthguard. By saving your teeth from taking the first impact, it protects them from trauma injuries athletes (especially in contact sports like football and soccer) may suffer. The good news is some mouthguards are made with orthodontic treatment in mind, so you can comfortably wear it over your braces!
Traditional (Metal or Ceramic) Braces
When you get metal or ceramic braces, it is vital to remember which foods are safe to eat and which may cause issues. As a rule of thumb, if the food is sticky like gum, hard like candy, or has little pieces that can get stuck like popcorn, your best bet is to stay away.
We understand restrictions can be frustrating, but they will help protect your teeth from harm in the long run and expedite your journey to a straight smile. Remember, these restrictions are temporary, and you can return to enjoying all of your favorite foods when your treatment is completed!
You can eat without restrictions when you take out your Invisalign trays! Before putting them back in, remember to efficiently brush your teeth and trays so that no small pieces of food are left behind. Since your Invisalign must stay in for around 22 hours a day, bacteria have the chance to grow and create problems quickly.
We Are Here To Support You!
Dillehay Orthodontics hopes you don’t have to come in for an emergency, but you have our full support if the situation should arise. Your comfort and well-being are our top priority! Don’t hesitate to call our East or West Wichita and Derby office locations to schedule an appointment in case of any questions or concerns.