While Orthodontics is a fairly safe and standard treatment for most people, there are small emergencies that can happen from time to time! Life happens, and your team at Smiles of Palmetto Bay is here to help if you should need us!
Let’s spend some time discussing what kind of emergencies can happen, how you can handle them, and what happens next!
What Types of Orthodontic Emergencies Are There?
Though braces are firmly secured onto your teeth, sometimes a bracket can break by accident. If you chew on something super crunchy or sticky, or if you get hit while playing contact sports or in an accident. These are not ideal circumstances, but thankfully, Dr. Ross, Dr. Garcia, and Dr. Iglesias can repair your bracket as soon as you come into our office!
Loose Bands or Wires
Similar to broken brackets, sometimes bands come off a bracket, or a wire gets loose. This can be especially annoying if a wire is poking your cheek! Again, make an appointment to come into our office as soon as possible to have our team take care of it!
If you are going through Invisalign treatment rather than braces, the biggest risk you face is losing your retainer. This can happen easily when you take the retainers out at lunchtime or when drinking. The best way to prevent this from happening is by keeping an extra storage case with you at all times. Get in the habit of always putting the retainers in the case when you remove them to reduce the risk of getting lost!
Severe Tooth Pain or Swelling
Sometimes, an emergency might not be related to the orthodontic treatment at all and instead be another dental problem. If you are having significant and ongoing tooth pain or swelling, it’s a good sign that something else is going on. If this is the case, the best plan is to reach out to your dentist as soon as possible for an appointment to figure out the causes, and then our team at Smiles of Palmetto Bay can follow up to ensure that your treatment can continue as efficiently as possible.
How You Can Prevent Emergencies From Happening
Now that we have a good idea of common emergencies that can pop up in your treatment let’s talk about some of the ways you can prevent emergencies from happening in the first place.
Basic Oral Hygiene
The best first step to caring for your teeth is to keep them clean. Brushing twice every day and flossing once is standard practice for everyone, with or without orthodontic treatment. Keeping your teeth clean will reduce your chances of tooth decay and other teeth and gum problems!
Following the Braces Diet
While it’s never fun to skip some of your favorite foods, it will save you a lot of problems later! Eating the wrong foods with braces is the most common cause of orthodontic emergencies, so it is definitely worth it to avoid crunchy, hard, sticky, and tough foods. Things like popcorn, gum, raw veggies, and more should be avoided. Instead, focus on really delicious, softer foods to keep your mouth safe and your body nourished. Don’t worry, it won’t be forever!
Wear A Mouthguard
Wearing a mouthguard while playing contact sports is a nonnegotiable when you have braces. We won’t get into all the gory details, but it can be very painful and harmful if your mouth is hit during a game. Trust us that a mouthguard will be worth it!
Hold On to Your Old Retainer
No matter how diligent you are with your Invisalign retainer, sometimes things happen, and they get lost or broken. A good rule of thumb is to hold onto the most recent retainer in your series to wear as a placeholder while your current retainer is replaced. This will keep you from regressing in your treatment.
Know When to Get Help
For almost every orthodontic emergency, it’s almost always important that you reach out to our office for support. Orthodontics don’t fix themselves, and you need a team of experts who can solve the problem for you and get you out the door and on track in no time!
How to Treat Emergencies Until You Come To the Office
So what happens between the moment that your emergency takes place and when you can get to our office to fix it? There are a few options here, so let’s walk through each one.
If you have a wire that is loose, one thing you can try is to push it back into place. Using a clean erasure head at the end of a pencil, you can sometimes gently push a wire so that it sits back into position in the bracket. This isn’t a permanent fix, but can reduce pain and keep you comfortable until you make it to the office. You can also use dental wax to hold wires into place or reduce the impact of uncomfortable broken wires and brackets
If there has been an emergency with a wire, bracket, or injury to the face, we recommend taking care of things as soon as possible. Don’t put it off till the next day, but instead, look for the best possible solution right now to ensure that you and your smile are safe until you can get more help!
Come In ASAP!
Ultimately, you need to get an appointment to come into our office as soon as you possibly can. Securing things until our office is open will buy you some time, but call first thing during open hours. We work with a flexible schedule and can try to get you in very soon!
Find the Support You Need at Smiles of Palmetto Bay
While not every emergency can be avoided, you don’t need to worry when you have a team you can count on to help you out! Dr. Ross, Dr. Garcia, Dr. Iglesias, and the entire team at Smiles of Palmetto Bay have been treating patients and solving emergency problems in the community for many years! We are the team you can trust with your smile.