At Riverview Orthodontics, Dr. Upton and our team strive to make your experience with us a positive and fulfilling journey. With any change comes some discomfort, and the same is true with getting braces or Invisalign. A true emergency is rare, but in case you encounter an issue, we want you to be prepared to handle anything that comes your way and know that we are here for your orthodontic emergencies!
Common Orthodontic Emergency Scenarios
Some potential issues can be spotted during regular checkups, while others may happen seemingly out of the blue. Emergencies can range from a slight ache like a loose bracket to other rare cases needing immediate attention. The good news is a lot of common orthodontic emergencies have temporary at-home solutions that can be administered by an adult.
Though not an immediate emergency, it can still be uncomfortable to eat or talk with the temporary soreness that comes with the beginning of your braces journey. This may arise right after your appliance is put on or after adjustments
Loose or Pokey Wire
As your teeth start to shift, you may get a loosened or protruding wire. The tip of the wire can be quite sharp, so remember to act quickly to avoid scratches or cuts inside your mouth!
Irritated Lips and Cheeks
Your mouth may take some time to adjust to braces being in your mouth. Friction is caused by the brackets and wires rubbing against your gums, lips, and cheeks, which may lead to irritation.
A very common issue similar to canker sores, these sensitive bumps on the skin can irritate the area around your lips, gums, and tongue. They are quite sore to the touch, so it is best to avoid directly touching them.
How You Can Respond At Home
If regular soreness really starts to bother you, we recommend sticking to soft foods so as not to aggravate anything. You can also rinse with warm salt water to provide some relief and get rid of any bacteria that may be lingering.
Pokey wires can be pushed in with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to be flush with your tooth and covered by orthodontic wax to avoid inflammation. If it continues to bother you, use a pair of nail clippers to remove the wire at its base to be replaced at your next appointment with Dr. Upton.
Irritated lips and cheeks, as well as mouth sores, can initially be helped by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water to get rid of any lingering bacteria. With mouth sores being inflamed and irritated, you can cover them with a topical gel to speed up healing. Both can be eased with over-the-counter pain relievers to allow you to still go about your day.
In any case, if you do not know how to proceed with an issue you are experiencing, Dr. Upton and our team are here for you at each step of your orthodontic journey and will be happy to walk you through helpful steps!
Must-Haves For Your Emergency Kit
In order to be best prepared for an orthodontic emergency outside of your home, Riverview Orthodontics recommends you prepare a small emergency kit with you to keep handy in the rare chance something happens. This short list of items can take care of common issues patients may experience.
Over-the-counter pain relievers
In the case of a swollen tooth, mouth sores, or general discomfort, having pain relievers on hand can help ease these aches. They can help you go about your day normally without needing to think about your teeth. Ask Dr. Upton at your next appointment what kind of medicine he recommends for your specific case!
Should a wire come loose during treatment or does not stay in its place, nail clippers are a good item to keep on hand if it starts to bother you. The wires can have a sharp edge when they slip out of place and could potentially cut the inside of your mouth or cause irritation.
Toothbrush And Toothpaste
Especially important for Invisalign wearers, keeping a kit to hold your toothbrush and toothpaste will make cleaning teeth after meals much smoother! It is vital you get rid of any food remnants left over between your teeth to protect them from potential tooth decay. For braces wearers, keeping these items handy can also be helpful if you accidentally dig into chewy or sticky food that gets caught in the wires.
Helpful in the case of a pointy wire or when your braces are causing irritation to your cheeks or lips, orthodontic wax is a great item to hold on to. If it falls off your braces and is ingested, don’t worry! It is harmless to your digestive system.
Floss and Threaders
An important item for any orthodontic appliance you may be wearing, floss is perfect for getting a pesky piece of food out of your gums. Our team can also provide you with floss threaders so you can more easily go between your braces to get every nook and cranny!
Ensuring Your Long-Lasting Dental Health
Protecting your dental health and orthodontic work for years to come can be accomplished in many achievable ways at home. Regularly brushing and flossing, along with other good habits like cleaning your tongue and using mouthwash, keep your teeth clean and protected from disease.
Staying hydrated during the day allows plaque to naturally fall off your teeth and your breath to stay smelling fresh. Visiting our office for your scheduled checkups with Dr. Upton allows our team at Riverview Orthodontics to stay on the lookout for any issues that may pop up.
Especially when wearing braces or fixed dental appliances, making smart food choices helps to protect them and further avoid the rare case of an emergency. Each of these and more contribute to keeping your smile shining and in great shape.
Our Team Is Here To Lend A Helping Hand!
Our team at Riverview Orthodontics is ready for anything that comes our way! If you experience any problems outside of our office, we are eager to help you out. Give our Demopolis or Tuscaloosa offices a call today to schedule your next appointment or a free consultation. We can’t wait to meet you!