Most people do not enjoy going to the dentist, much less to the orthodontist, but if you are experiencing extreme pain, sometimes it is the best option. Often when needing to be seen by an orthodontist, there are long wait times. Whether it is because you are not sure if you have an emergency, or simply keep putting it off, not getting the care you need can create more pressing issues if not dealt with. If you are experiencing pain but not sure whether it is truly an emergency, go through the information below and decide whether you should contact an emergency orthodontist.
What steps should I take if I have an orthodontic emergency?
Although rare, orthodontic emergencies do happen. After reading through this article, if you believe you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency, contact All About Braces, an emergency orthodontist, immediately to schedule an emergency appointment.
What is considered a minor orthodontic problem?
Many problems with your orthodontic treatment will be minor, and most can be handled entirely over the phone. Still, even a minor problem can cause discomfort or impair your treatment. Even for minor issues, you should still call our office to determine how best to handle the issue. Any of the following problems qualify as a minor orthodontic emergency:
Loose or broken braces
If you have a wire, bracket, or band in your braces that happens to break or simply loosens, understand this is not an emergency. Despite this, you should still get this taken care of as soon as possible. If the broken piece is still attached to your braces, try to leave it in place and avoid touching it. If it ends up falling out of your mouth, try to save it and bring it to your appointment. If you are experiencing pain, use some dental wax to cover the broken area until you can visit the orthodontist for repairs.
Discomfort from brackets, ties, or arch wires
When your teeth begin to move, sometimes the arch wire, your brackets, or ties can poke into parts of your mouth. This is uncomfortable, but not something you need to be worried about. Use a q-tip or tweezers to move whatever is poking you to a comfortable position. If you are still experiencing discomfort, again, you can use dental wax to cover this portion of your mouth.
Toothaches and loose teeth
Whether you are wearing braces, or simply have a problem with one or more of your teeth being loose, this can cause minor discomfort or soreness. If you have braces, this is very normal and means the process is working. If you are having other tooth issues, you should contact your dentist or orthodontist to be sure this is not the sign of a more serious issue. To avoid inflammation, you can use a warm saltwater rinse for your mouth and use over the counter pain killers. If you have serious pain, be sure to contact us to confirm that you are not dealing with an orthodontic emergency.
When you might have an orthodontic emergency
An orthodontic issue becomes an emergency when you have the possibility of seriously damaging your teeth, jaw, or mouth, and you have pain as a result. Most orthodontic emergencies are due to an injury to the mouth, teeth, or face, swollen or infected gums, and infection or serious swelling in your face, or any form of severe pain in the mouth and face.
If you are experiencing any of these serious problems and you believe you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency, contact an emergency orthodontist. If you are in a dangerous situation and cannot call, simply come down to the office to be seen right away.