Monday, May 29, 2023

How to Solve Emergencies at Home

At Medina Orthodontics, we want our patients to be informed of problems that may occur while in orthodontic treatment and understand how to temporarily solve them until it is possible to return to our office.

If you ever find yourself in what you believe to be an orthodontic emergency, the first step is to determine the severity of the it really a true emergency or is it a less serious issue that you can fix yourself?

Most orthodontic problems are minor although some may irritate your mouth or cause discomfort. In general, the best approach is to try to ease the source of the problem, and then call our office to schedule an appointment.

Here are five common orthodontic problems you may be able to take care of at home, prior to scheduling a visit to our orthodontic office.

1. Loose band or bracket: While a tight band or bracket actually protects a tooth from decay, a loose band or bracket is extremely dangerous and decay can occur under it very rapidly. If a band or bracket comes loose from the tooth and is still attached to a wire, leave it in place and apply wax if there is discomfort. If the band or bracket comes completely out, place it in an envelope and call for an appointment.

2. Poking wire: Sometimes a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no longer causes you discomfort. Try to tuck the wire back in and out of the way with the blunt end of a toothbrush. If you are unable to take care of a poking wire, apply wax and call our office for an appointment.

3. Loose Teeth and Soreness: It’s natural for teeth to become slightly loose when wearing braces. Sometimes this tooth movement can be accompanied by tenderness, especially immediately after braces are fitted or adjusted. Try taking over-the-counter pain relief. Rinsing your mouth twice a day with a cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt can also be soothing. A heating pad or warm washcloth placed on your face may help to relieve tenderness as well.

4. Food Stuck Between Teeth: Use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food. If you cut your gums, tongue, or the inside of your cheek, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, call your family dentist for an appointment.

5. Ulcers or Mouth Sores: Sometimes your gums or mouth may be irritated by contact with your braces; in certain cases, this irritation causes small sores or ulcers. While they can be uncomfortable, they are normal and will go away quickly. Avoid touching the ulcers with your fingers. Cover the irritating bracket or wire with wax and take over-the-counter pain medications if you feel discomfort. You may also find topic gels helpful, as they will slowly and safely eradicate your sores.

And remember…if you are a patient in retention and your retainer cracks or breaks, remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office for professional repair or replacement.


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