Orthodontic Emergencies – What To Do
Orthodontic emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. School is out for most parts of the country and soon most of you will be on summer vacation. Don’t let orthodontic emergencies stop you from having some fun in the sun this summer!
When you are away on vacation, it might be tough and expensive to find an out of town orthodontic specialist. Here are some tips from Hess and VanLandschoot Orthodontics that you might need if there are orthodontic emergencies while you are away from home.
- Bring a mini emergency kit with you. Include orthodontic wax, nail clippers or small pair of wire cutters/tweezers, a pencil with an eraser and our phone number for any guidance you may need.
- If there is an irritation of lips or cheeks – apply wax to the area to help soothe the pain. Follow the instructions on the package of the wax. If you don’t have any wax or run out, sugarless gum works as good substitute.
- If any sores develop, be sure to go to a local drug store and buy topical anesthetics like Orabase or Orajel. These will help numb the area until you return home.
- A common problem with arch wires is that they may come right off the bracket when chewing gum, hard candy or any sticky foods. If this happens, use a pencil eraser or something soft to push the wire flat against your teeth. Add wax or sugarless gum to end the wire if needed to prevent any irritation.
- If the main wire breaks, clip the wire with a pair of nail clippers, flush to the next anchored bracket. Make sure to disinfect the clippers or wire cutters first with rubbing alcohol or an open flame to kill germs. Once the wire is clipped, make sure to remove the piece of wire to avoid swallowing it.
- If a band around one of your back teeth comes loose, don’t worry about it unless it is causing problems while you eat. If this happens, clip the main wire with nail clips flush to the next bracket and remove the loose band. Apply wax or sugarless gum if needed to avoid any irritation. The wires and brackets can be repaired once you return home.
Loose brackets are mostly caused by hard foods. During the summer, we tend to be more lax with our routines and this can lead to bad food choices for braces. While out of town, it is important not to break a bracket by ignoring the restricted diet that comes along with braces. If a bracket does come loose from a tooth, the best thing is to remove the bracket with a pair of disinfected tweezers.
Remember to schedule an appointment with us as soon as you get back so we can get you in right away to repair any damage.
Loose ligature wire or elastic – If a small elastic ligature (the piece that attaches the archwire to the bracket) comes partially or all the way off your braces, use a pair of disinfected tweezers to put it back into place. If a ligature goes missing, don’t worry about it, but remember to call us when you return.
- If you experience true orthodontic emergencies … where you are so uncomfortable you can’t wait till you get back, contact the local dental society for an orthodontist recommendation.
- Also, search on a smartphone for an orthodontist nearest you and make sure to check the ratings and reviews to see what’s the best option around you.
- Most orthodontists will provide an emergency contact number when out of the office and don’t mind to help an out of town patient with a problem they cannot easily attend to on their own.
- A local emergency room is always a last resort.
Remember, never hesitate to give us a call to ask us for guidance if you don’t know what to do. We are here to help you. Our goal at Hess and VanLandschoot Orthodontics is to provide you with a terrific smile and make sure you get the most of out of any treatment.
If you have any out of town orthodontic emergency experiences you would like to share with us, we would love to hear from you! Send us a message or leave a comment below.