Whether it’s giving you the straighter teeth you’ve always dreamed of or ensuring your child has a healthy bite in the future, braces can be a powerful tool. Unfortunately, as anyone who’s had braces can tell you, accidents can happen all too easily. Any patient can have an orthodontic emergency; here are some common reasons to call your orthodontist in Rochester as soon as possible.
Broken or Loose Brackets or Appliances
A bracket (the small pieces of metal attached to the front of your teeth connected by wire) can often become broken or loose when eating improper foods, such as sticky candies or nuts. If a bracket or other appliance comes off altogether, be sure to save it, but don’t try to repair it yourself. Your orthodontist should be able to reattach or replace any broken or loose pieces.
Loose Wire Poking the Cheek or Gums
If a wire comes out of place, it can give you a painful reminder by poking you in the gums or cheek. You can place dental wax on the tip of the wire, or you can use a pencil eraser to try and gently adjust it so that it doesn’t bother you. This is a temporary measure; you’ll need to call your orthodontist so they can either put the wire back or cut it.
Serious Pain or Irritation
Of course, some minor discomfort is natural when wearing braces. However, if you experience serious pain that doesn’t go away in a couple of days, your orthodontist may need to examine your mouth to try and find the cause and take necessary steps to relieve it.
Food Stuck in Braces
Oftentimes, you can remove bits of food caught in your braces by rinsing with water or using dental tools for cleaning between teeth such as floss or interdental cleaners. In some cases, you won’t be able to dislodge the food by yourself, in which case you’ll need the orthodontist’s help to remove them.
Broken or Lost Retainer
Even after you’re done with braces, you’ll still need to be careful of orthodontal emergencies. Retainers can be broken or even be lost entirely (especially if they belong to young children). Never try to fix a broken retainer; call your orthodontist for repairs or a replacement.
Adjusting teeth with braces is a process. If problems aren’t fixed in a timely manner, it could cause the treatment to last longer than necessary. Always make sure your orthodontist knows about mechanical issues or unusual pains; if your children have braces, make sure they know to tell you about potential orthodontal emergencies. Handle emergencies as quickly as possible and get back on track towards a better smile!
About the Author
Dr. Stan Drabik has over 20 years of orthodontal experience. At his practice, Drabik Orthodontics, he and his staff have adopted a philosophy of treating patients as individuals. He works with many different types of braces, including traditional metal, self-ligating, lingual, and clear or ceramic braces. For appointments or questions about taking care of braces, visit his website or call (585) 872-4660.