Minor Orthodontic Emergency Care and Treatment
Maintaining a healthy, useful, and comfortable mouth is just as important as correcting crooked teeth and an unaligned bite. It is the responsibility of the patient to always brush and floss thoroughly, wear a mouth guard during contact sports, and keep a small kit on hand to deal with minor orthodontic emergencies. Relief wax, q-tips, topical anesthetic, and flossing threaders can be helpful in dealing with urgent orthodontic situations. Being prepared can make all the difference when you have a minor orthodontic emergency.
Food Caught in Teeth
Although this can be painful, dealing with food in your braces is a common problem. Investing in a water flosser can help you avoid discomfort. And as long as you are wearing braces, it is a good idea to keep flossing threaders on hand to deal with any trapped food and related issues that arise away from home.
Sores and Irritation
If you can locate the cause of the irritation, place a small amount of relief wax on the rough or protruding brace. A topical anesthetic designed for use on the gums or lips is also helpful until you can get in touch with your doctor.
Loose or Displaced Brackets
If a bracket is no longer secure on the tooth but it is still connected to the wire, carefully attempt to slide the bracket along the wire into its original spot. Apply wax to either side of the bracket
along the wire and contact your orthodontist to re-affix the piece. A missing bracket is another minor orthodontic emergency that deserves immediate attention. If you cannot locate the bracket, it may have been ejected from the mouth or swallowed. Don’t worry. Even if you swallow a brace, it won’t stay with you for long. Braces are small and can pass through a digestive tract with little concern.
Protruding Wires or Ligatures
If a wire or ligature begins to irritate your mouth, it may have shifted position. Examine the area to determine if everything is intact. If all is well, apply relief wax and mention the irritation to you orthodontist at your next visit. If, however, a wire is protruding, use a q-tip to carefully attempt to push the wire back into place. Try to position the wire so that it is flush with your teeth until you can see your doctor.
The most effective way to prevent a minor orthodontic emergency is to follow the maintenance instructions of your doctor. Big Bend Orthodontics is here to help. As a staple of the community, Dr. Heidi Butts has been serving patients in the St. Louis area for over a decade. Trust us to handle all of your orthodontic needs. And if an emergency arises, our extended office hours will help you get quick, convenient treatment. Contact us at Big Bend Orthodontics today.