Orthodontic emergencies, while rare, can happen in an instant. When they do, our Ormond Beach orthodontic team is here to help you. Whatever your situation, Ormond Beach orthodontist, Dr. DeSantis and the Atlantic Orthodontics team can help you with compassion, relieving your discomfort as quickly as possible.
While you should always call our team when you experience severe pain or discomfort, you may also be able to make temporary adjustments to help you stay comfortable until you can visit our office.
If there is a loose piece, you can remove it and store it somewhere safe until you get to our office. If your braces are poking you, dental wax can be a great way to protect your mouth until we can make an adjustment.
Regardless of your issue, it remains important to contact our office afterwards. Ignoring a broken or malfunctioning appliance for long periods of time may defeat the purpose of your orthodontic care and extend your treatment time.
If you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency, call our team at (386) 672-4981.
First Aid for Braces
Though braces are safe and generally involve little discomfort, there are instances when issues may arise. This page includes some information that can be useful if any of these situations occur.
Food Caught Between Teeth
While not an emergency, this can cause discomfort or embarrassment for the patient. A small knot in a piece of dental floss can help to remove food stuck between teeth and braces. Other options that may be effective include a small dental toothbrush or toothpick.
Ligatures include both the small rubber bands and the fine wires that are used with braces. If a rubber band comes off, it should be able to be put back in place using sterile tweezers. For a loose wire, use sterile tweezers to remove it. If a wire ligature is broken or missing, follow up with the orthodontist.
Discomfort for the first day or two following adjustment is normal. It can be helpful during that time to eat only soft foods and to rinse with warm salt water.
Some patients may have recurring issues with mouth sores. Though these are not caused by the braces, the braces may irritate the sores, making them more painful and take longer to heal. Generally, pain relief can be achieved using a topical anesthetic, such as Ora-Gel.
Lip or Cheek Irritation
New braces may cause irritation to the lips and cheeks, especially while eating. Non-medicinal relief wax can be used in tiny amounts to cover the part of the braces that is causing the irritation, providing relief. This wax is harmless if accidentally swallowed.
If a wire end is out of place, it can cause irritation to the mouth. Use a pencil eraser or cotton swab to gently push the wire back into place, if possible. Relief wax can also be used to protect the mouth. If the protrusion is severe and the patient cannot get to the orthodontist soon, clip the wire as a last resort.
If a bracket has become loose, notify the orthodontist immediately for how to proceed.
A Piece of the Appliance is Swallowed
Though highly rare, it is possible for this to occur. Contact our Ormond Beach orthodontist immediately for instructions on how to handle this situation.
Eating with Braces
What you eat and do not eat will directly affect the condition of your teeth during orthodontic treatment. Here are some tips on what kinds of foods you should avoid and how to carefully enjoy some of your favorites.
At times, it is difficult to break and chew certain foods. Eating hard foods can be harmful during orthodontic treatment because they can bend or break wires and even displace brackets. Avoid them entirely after you have had your wires changed, since teeth are the most tender at this stage.
Tips for eating hard foods:
- Fruits are an essential part of a balanced diet. If you want to eat apples, pears and peaches, do not directly bite into them. Instead, cut them into small pieces before consuming.
- If you enjoy eating almonds, cashews or peanuts, consider grinding them and adding it to cereals and yogurt.
- While eating chicken wings or ribs, remove the bones before consuming your meal. This prevents you from accidentally chewing on a bone and dislocating a bracket.
- While eating corn, remove the kernels from the cob to help prevent damage to your braces.
- Avoid chewing on ice. You can suck on ice cubes but never bite them.
Sticky and Sweet Foods
Sticky foods can get stuck to your teeth and braces, and can even result in the braces getting pulled off. Sweet, sugary foods are high in sugar and their consumption can lead to tooth decay.
Tips for eating sticky and sweet foods:
- If you enjoy eating candy, try sucking on them instead of chewing them. Be sure to rinse your mouth with water to avoid sugar buildup on your teeth.
- Avoid chewing on gum. Gum can stick to braces and may be difficult to clean. It can also loosen the wires and brackets.