Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than an orthodontic mishap. In one moment you are laughing and the next you are stressed or in pain, constantly worried that the problem will worsen with each passing day.
A braces emergency appointment isn’t necessary for the most common orthodontic issues, as patients are able to handle them without additional help. For less common (and more severe) issues, professional care may be required.
Instead of letting an orthodontic emergency get in your way, be mindful of your braces to guarantee a fun-filled vacation. Here are a few ways to take control of orthodontic problems that may come your way.
Most issues orthodontic patients experience are more of an annoyance than anything. Actual situations requiring urgent orthodontic care are highly unlikely but can happen.
So, what is considered an orthodontic emergency?
If any of the above are true, you need to seek assistance from an emergency dentist as soon as you can, even if you are not in a great deal of pain. In the case of heavy bleeding from the mouth, make your way to the nearest emergency room. You may need stitches, in which case an ER doctor will be more helpful than an emergency orthodontist.
Usually, trauma to the mouth has occurred if you are experiencing any of the situations mentioned above. Potentially serious in nature, these problems should never be ignored.
Though you can handle the most common orthodontic issues that pop up on your own, you will need a few tools. Look for the following during an emergency braces repair:
First, identify the location of the loose or broken bracket. If the bracket in question is in the back of the mouth, slide it off the wire and trim any excess wire with a pair of sterilized nail clippers to prevent the wire from poking your cheek. Wrap the bracket securely in a tissue and hold on to it until you are back home.
If the bracket is not in the back of your mouth, use a pair of sterilized tweezers to reposition the bracket. Then, cover the bracket with dental wax to prevent irritation and hold it in place until you can see your orthodontist.
However, if a loose or broken bracket is causing you unbearable pain, find an emergency orthodontist – it is a true orthodontic emergency.
Dealing with braces wires constantly jabbing you in the cheek is not a great feeling when you’re trying to relax. Thankfully, fixing this orthodontic emergency is easy.
Take a clean cotton swab (or pencil eraser) and push the wire gently out of the way. Dry the wire and neighboring bracket with a new cotton swab or clean tissue. Finally, place a ball of dental wax over the poking wire to keep it from causing any more pain.
Wires that are very long (usually due to a loose bracket) and cause significant pain can be snipped with a pair of sterilized nail clippers and sealed with a ball of dental wax.
Don’t be alarmed if you notice the wires jutting out the back brackets of your braces. Slide the wire back into its bracket hole using tweezers.
If the wire is still uncomfortable or too difficult to put back into place, try clipping it or applying wax.
It’s impossible to predict when a braces emergency will occur, but there are a few ways you can reduce the chances of one happening.
Before you hit the road, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist. During this appointment, little issues that can potentially turn into orthodontic emergencies can be identified and dealt with.
The goal is to make sure your braces are in great shape and working as they should.
While tasting foreign delicacies and, in general, loosening up your diet restrictions is part of traveling, it can have unintended consequences i.e., an orthodontic emergency.
Avoid foods that are dangerous for your braces. In particular, steer clear of:
A braces emergency kit will help a great deal while you’re away from home.
Remember that there is no need to panic when an orthodontic emergency occurs. As an emergency dentist in Santa Barbara, we have seen it all and know that you have all you need to take care of just about any braces emergency you’ll encounter.
When you return from your trip, Orthodontist of Santa Barbara will be here to ensure your orthodontic treatment stays on course.
If you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency or are preparing for an upcoming vacation, Orthodontist of Santa Barbara can help. We will repair your braces and ensure that they are functioning properly. Contact us at (805) 979-9070 to schedule an appointment today!
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