While not every orthodontic issue can be considered an emergency, some cases call for immediate treatment. In the event of an orthodontic emergency, it can be crucial to see an orthodontist immediately, as damage to brackets and wires could potentially lengthen treatment time. The initial estimated length of treatment doesn’t consider damaged appliances, so it could end up being longer if damage does occur. With this, it’s important to know exactly what to do when problems do arise. Fortunately, Kraus Orthodontics can fill you in.
Whether you’ve broken a bracket or ruined your retainer, you should contact Dr. Kraus right away. The quicker you respond, the quicker we can repair your appliance and keep the treatment process on track. Damage to orthodontic appliances is not uncommon, though promptly addressing the issue can be crucial.
What to Do in an Orthodontic Emergency
Though an orthodontic emergency can indeed alter the length of your estimated treatment time, emergencies are quite common and you can do a variety of home remedies to manage the issue until you return to have it repaired by Dr. Kraus.. Take a look below at some common issues and how you can handle them in the meantime:
Broken Wire: Broken wires can cause discomfort and compromise the effectiveness of your braces. If a wire breaks or becomes loose, simply press it into place with a pencil eraser. You can apply wax to the area if the wire is causing pain.
Loose Bracket: As long as the loose bracket is still attached to the wire, call us immediately to have it rebonded. If the bracket comes unattached, place it in a plastic bag and be sure to bring it in the office.
Missing O Ring: Missing “O” rings aren’t necessarily a serious problem, yet you should still contact the office and have it replaced.
Damaged Retainer: If you’ve damaged your retainer, be sure not to wear it and contact us immediately. Not wearing your retainer often results in teeth shifting, which could undo the work your braces did.
Often times, patients experience pain from poking wires or brackets, which isn’t necessarily considered an orthodontic emergency. However, we want to ensure our patients are comfortable throughout treatment. You can receive wax from Dr. Kraus to cover poking wires and brackets as your mouth adapts to your new appliances. Of course, we can tend to any problematic appliances, so be sure to give us a call when pain arises.
Preventing Issues with Your Orthodontic Appliance
While an orthodontic emergency can sometimes be serious, it’s easy to prevent damage to your appliances. Typically, appliance issues occur with poor care. Harmful foods are quite often the main cause of orthodontic issues, as well as sport-related injuries. As far as sports go, you should always wear a mouthguard to protect your braces. With food, you should avoid eating anything in the list to follow:
- Beef jerky
- Chewy, hard, & sticky candy
- Hard breads
The general principle to follow is to avoid eating anything hard or sticky, chew, gooey!
Always Contact Your Orthodontist!
As we’ve mentioned, with any orthodontic issue, you should always contact your orthodontist immediately. When braces and other orthodontic appliances break, the original treatment time could be lengthened if not addressed promptly. Fortunately, most issues can be prevented with proper care, so be sure to treat your braces right!