During your time with orthodontic treatment, some problems are bound to happen. Sometimes they are small and quite easy to fix, like a loose bracket or a broken wire. In some other situations, however, you may need advice from an expert to know how to proceed, so it’s best to have your orthodontist’s number at hand. Here are a few of the most common orthodontic emergencies and what you can do about them.
It isn’t uncommon for brackets to come loose and detach from your tooth. It usually happens when the patient doesn’t follow their diet properly and eats something that ends ups pudding too much pressure on your braces.
If you have a bracket that comes loose and it’s still attached to the braces’ metal wire, you can try to move it along the archwire to a spot where it won’t move around as much, so it doesn’t annoy you. If the loose bracket still creates some type of discomfort by constantly rubbing the inside of your mouth, you can use some dental wax on top of the bracket to stop it from moving and irritating the area.
As your teeth shift along your gum line, the archwire, the metal wire that connects all brackets, moves with them. Sometimes these movements can make a wire come off at one end and poke the side of your mouth or gums. The wire can also break if the patient regularly consumes hard or sticky foods.
A poking wire can cause bleeding and irritation on the inside of your mouth, which can then lead to more serious problems if not treated. You will have to call your orthodontist to let them know of the situation and get an appointment as soon as possible.
What to Do When Braces Wire Is Poking?
If, for any reason, your orthodontist isn’t available at the moment, there is no need to panic; your braces can go a few days with a wire poking out without it affecting your treatment’s progress. Of course, there is still the problem of a metal wire poking inside your mouth to deal with until you can see your dental specialist.
If you have dental wax available, you can stick it at the end of the protruding wire, so it won’t cause any more damage. You can also try pushing it back into the brackets with the eraser part of a pencil or a pair of tweezers. Additionally, you can use the tweezers to bend the archwire on itself so that the poky side angles towards your bracket.
Taking a Blow to the Mouth
While wearing braces, any kind of impact that you may receive on your mouth can not only break or bend appliances but can also do serious damage to your tooth, gums, tongue, etc. In this situation, the patient will first have to assess how serious the injury is to decide whether to go to the ER or the dentist. If the patient is bleeding severely, then go to the emergency room immediately.
Call your dentist immediately to explain the situation and the injury; they will most likely ask you to go to the office for a check-up as you could have suffered more damage than what you’re aware of. If a tooth falls out, take it with you as the dentist can reattach it if treated soon enough.
One or More Ligatures Fall Off
Ligatures are what attach the archwire to your brackets. They can be either small rubber bands, which you can pick in any color, or very small metal wires. If any ligature were to come off, first try to reattach it with a pair of tweezers. Metal wire ligatures can sometimes become loose and stick out, hurting your inner lip. In this situation, try to bend the metal inward so it won’t point to your soft tissue. You can also try putting some dental wax on top of it.
Given that ligatures are constantly under pressure if one fails, others are likely to follow. If you ignore the situation, you can run the risk of losing weeks of progress in your treatment, so it’s best to call your orthodontist to inform them of the situation; they will tell you if you require an emergency appointment or not.
How to Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies
You can avoid the most common orthodontic emergencies by simply following your orthodontist’s instructions. On the first day with braces, they will tell you what diet you have to follow. This consists of avoiding any type of hard and sticky foods like chips, nuts, toffee, big cuts of red meats, bread with seeds, chewing gum, popcorn, and much more. Orthodontists recommend mostly soft foods on your diet; a few options are seedless bread, scrambled eggs, soft-boiled vegetables, fish or chicken, and fruits like apples are ok to consume as long as you cut them into small pieces first.
The recommended diet avoids unnecessary stress on the appliance and makes it easier for the patient to clean after. Patients with clear aligners don’t have to follow any diet. Brushing your teeth twice every day and maintaining good oral health will allow for stronger teeth, reducing the possibility of injury in the future.