Here at Seaside Smiles, we are dedicated to patient care, especially in the case of an emergency. Orthodontic emergencies may be rare, but we are ready and willing to help you whenever you are having trouble with your braces or appliances. Dental emergencies while wearing braces or other orthodontic appliances generally fall into two categories.
EMERGENCIES RELATED TO ORTHODONTIC APPLIANCES
Occasionally, appliances may become be broken or loose during your orthodontic care. If there are any disturbances, such as loose bands, loose brackets, broken or poking wires, please call our office for an appointment during patient hours. For your convenience and the convenience of scheduled patients, it is not possible to handle emergencies on a walk in basis. Many problems can be solved at home, though we always have appointments available if you need one. In the meantime, here are some helpful hints to remedy some of the problems you may encounter at home until you make it into the office.
- If a twisted wire is irritating your mouth, cover it with wax or tuck it under the arch wire with a blunt object like a pencil eraser or Q-tip.
- A loose band or bracket can generally be left in place until you are seen in our office. Call us during patient hours if you notice a loose band or bracket. We will schedule you an appointment to address the broken or loose appliance, as needed.
- A broken or poking archwire can often be bent in with a pencil eraser or cut with nail clippers. Call our office, during patient hours, if you do not feel you cannot resolve the problem comfortably.
- You can rinse your mouth with a warm saltwater to help irrations heal. You can dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water and use the mixture to rinse your mouth out several times per day.
- Many people like to use Orajel on their sore gums to help with discomfort or irriations. This product is available at any pharmacy. You may also use over-the-counter medications like Tylenol, Advil or Motrin for soreness and discomfort.
- Watch the video above on YouTube that explains how to handle an orthodontic emergency.
INJURIES TO THE MOUTH AND TEETH
Following a direct impact to your mouth or teeth, whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, contact your general or pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Usually an x-ray of the involved tooth or teeth is needed to determine the extent of injury.
If a tooth has been displaced, knocked out, or fractured, it is best to contact your family dentist first, since we may not have the necessary materials or anesthesia required to treat these injuries. If the appliances are dislodged or displaced, we will need to replace or adjust the appliances as soon as possible, after you have been seen your general dentist, depending upon your comfort level.
AFTER OFFICE HOURS
If an orthodontic emergency arises where you are in pain after hours, please call our office at 631-886-3141. Information is available regarding who to contact for further assistance.