What to do in an Orthodontic Emergency
Orthodontic emergencies have the potential to arise at some point down the line. What matters most is how you react to the emergency. The response to your orthodontic emergency should not be a DIY (do it yourself) attempt to rectify the problem. Rather, it is in your interest to have our orthodontic experts analyze the emergency and determine how to alter or replace your orthodontic appliance as necessary. Time is of the essence. If you wait too long, the problem could worsen to the point that it is irreparable or that much more expensive. Here is a quick look at exactly what to do.
A Quick Checklist for Your Orthodontic Emergency
Though orthodontic devices are safe and effective, they have the potential to prove slightly annoying and even cause some emergencies. If something feels wrong, stay calm and do not panic. Reference this handy informative guide for assistance.
The first step is to identify the exact problem that is causing the emergency. You can pinpoint the issue with the use of a mirror. Alternatively, you can have your significant other or a member of your household look in your mouth to determine what is going on. Most such problems with orthodontic devices cannot be repaired from home. Do your part to minimize the pain and reach out to our office for professional assistance.
Contact the Orthodontist Right Away
Your orthodontic emergency necessitates the assistance of an experienced orthodontist. Whether you have a loose braces wire, a faulty braces bracket, or soreness in your mouth resulting from your orthodontic appliance, it is better to contact an experienced orthodontist to determine the best course of action than attempt to solve it on your own or simply do nothing. Our mission is to alleviate your pain as quickly as possible and get your orthodontic appliance back in working order. If necessary, we will provide a local anesthetic to minimize or prevent pain.
Examples of Orthodontic Emergencies
If you are like most patients with orthodontic devices, you are not exactly certain what constitutes an orthodontic emergency and what does not. Broken brackets, bent wires, significant soreness from dental appliances, and irritation are common examples of legitimate orthodontic emergencies. If you suffer any such issues, do not wait until your next six-month appointment to obtain assistance from a proven professional.
The loss of a ligature band should necessitate a call to our office. The ligature band is essential to braces as it holds the wires to the brackets, ensuring enough pressure is applied to straighten your teeth. The loss of a separator should also spur a call to our office. We will replace the separator and return your mouth to normal. Though loose wires and brackets are not life or death emergencies, they certainly necessitate assistance from professionals. If your braces’ wires or brackets are loose, they will not work properly and possibly end up extending the time necessary to straighten your teeth.
Furthermore, if you experience extended and significant soreness due to an orthodontic device such as braces, do not suffer in silence. Be proactive, reach out to our dental practice for assistance and we will prioritize your orthodontic emergency to alleviate your pain and ultimately help you return your life to normal.
Don’t Confuse Soreness From the Placement of an Orthodontic Device With an Emergency
Now that we have detailed what constitutes an orthodontic emergency, it must be noted that if you recently received braces or another orthodontic treatment, you will likely experience some initial soreness. This soreness does not constitute an orthodontic emergency. Rather, there will be minor discomfort as your mouth adjusts to the addition of an orthodontic device and your teeth begin to move into the right positions in your mouth. Give your new orthodontic appliance at least a couple of days or weeks and you will find the soreness gradually dissipates.
What You can do in the Meantime
Contact our office right away after your orthodontic emergency arises. However, you can do a couple of things in between the time at which you let us know about your orthodontic emergency and receiving attention at our office. Think quickly, take decisive action and you just might minimize your pain and also preserve the compromised appliance.
For one, it will help to add wax to the area in question if the damaged braces or other orthodontic appliance are irritating the inside of your mouth. The addition of wax to this space will safeguard the cheeks as well as the lips from potential poking. If your braces wires have loosened, you can attempt to press the wire into the right position with a pencil’s eraser, your finger, or something similar. If one of your braces’ brackets loosens and slides out of its current position, you can move it back to its ideal spot with tweezers. However, if the wire proves irritating, it will have to be snipped.
You Need and Deserve Professional Treatment
The moral of this story is it is in your interest to contact our oral health professional instead of attempting to perform repairs and alterations on your own should a dental emergency arise. Though it is slightly embarrassing to pick up the phone to report an orthodontic emergency, especially if you did something to cause the problem, you should know our oral health professionals are not judgmental. We are understanding, caring, and willing to help. Let our team take a look at exactly what is going on, let us address the problem with a careful and strategic approach and it will not be long until your orthodontic device is back to normal.
Schedule Your Appointment With Silver Lake Orthodontics Today
Our team is also here for everyone suffering from orthodontic emergencies. If you have such an emergency, contact us right away for prompt assistance. Reach out to us today at (425) 448-7900 to find out more about our services and schedule an appointment. You can also schedule an appointment with our office online.