Orthodontics include braces, retainers, dental trays and other devices that reposition the teeth or hold the teeth in position. Fortunately, orthodontic emergencies are rare, especially with the growing popularity of soft plastic aligners for straightening teeth. Nevertheless, injuries from a sudden trip or fall, auto accident, or a sports injury can disrupt your orthodontic treatment plan or require emergency dental care.
Severe Injuries with Orthodontics
Orthodontic emergencies include:
Impact trauma or injury to the teeth, mouth or face,
Sudden redness or swelling in the mouth area,
Intense, unmanageable pain in the oral or facial area.
Any of these symptoms could indicate a severe injury or infection, seen or unseen, that requires immediate attention. Our team at the Placerville Dental Group has years of experience treating dental trauma, including orthodontic injuries. Give us a call immediately. We can help you determine whether a trip to the dentist or the hospital emergency room is the better treatment plan.
Non-Emergency Orthodontic Issues
Your pain may not be bad enough for the emergency room, but any unexpected discomfort tells you something is wrong. Contact us over the phone to set up an appointment as soon as possible! Situations that require expert dental attention vary, but here are a few examples.
Loose or broken orthodontic equipment — this could include brackets, bands or wires for your braces. Try to leave the compromised equipment alone until our dentist can get a better look. If the problem part causes irritation, cover it with orthodontic wax. If a piece of your orthodontic has come off completely, recover it, place it in a safe container, and then bring it with you to our Placerville dental practice.
Missing or poking components — these include archwires, brackets or ties. As your teeth are moved into alignment by the tension in your braces, your archwire (the wire connecting all the teeth in one arch) requires periodic adjustment. Without that adjustment, it may begin irritating your cheeks or the back of your mouth. If the wire springs out of place, carefully use a Q-tip or similar soft tool to reposition the wire. If the culprit is a bracket or tie, using a pair of tweezers to redirect the piece might be enough. You can also just call our Placerville dental office for assistance.
Loose components or general pain — keep in mind that when you first get your orthodontics and after each adjustment, you should expect a measure of discomfort or pain for several days. Also, since the purpose of orthodontics is to move your teeth, sometimes your teeth might feel loose. Though perhaps disconcerting, it’s reasonable to get the feeling of “looseness” from time to time. During the first few days after an adjustment, stick with soft foods to avoid aggravating your dental nerves. You can also use over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to gain a measure of relief. Rinsing your mouth with mild salt water is also helpful for some. You may also hold a warm washcloth or heating pad against the outside of your jaw to ease mild pain.
An unforeseen impact or accidental fall can bring unexpected and severe pain if you wear orthodontics. With emergency dental care from the Placerville Dental Group, we help you deal with that unexpected pain and address the source. Give us a call if you need help with oral pain, orthodontic injuries, or orthodontic repairs.