However, in rare cases, emergencies do happen. At KBL Orthodontics, we strive to make your time with us a fond experience to look back on and want to make your treatment stress-free. Sometimes things happen out of the blue, but don’t fret. We are here for your orthodontic emergencies!
What Qualifies As An Emergency?
When it comes to figuring out what is a real concern and what is not, it depends on the issue at hand as well as its severity. For example, mouth sores? They are remediable at home. Severe tooth pain? Certainly uncomfortable and may lead to something more depending on the cause. A swallowed appliance, however? That is certainly something worth calling KBL Orthodontics about!
Some Discomfort Is Part Of The Process!
With the shifting braces and clear aligners guarantee, there are going to be some aches along the way, though not to worry, as they do not last a significant amount of time. If you are unsure about the severity of an issue, it never hurts to call us, and our team will be happy to help walk you through the next steps.
How To Confront Urgent Issues
Severe Tooth Pain
Usually, the symptoms of a larger problem, swelling and tooth pain, can cause a lot of discomfort. This can be caused by various factors related to treatment.
Thoroughly rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater can get rid of any harmful bacteria growing. On top of that, you can apply a cold compress or take over-the-counter pain relievers to ease any pain. If the pain does not let up, contact our office, and we can offer you the best next steps.
When your bracket, the square piece in the center of your tooth, comes loose, you may accidentally cut your gums or tongue or even swallow the appliance if you leave it alone. Eating hard foods or bumping your braces into something may cause this, potentially disrupting the teeth alignment process.
To temporarily fix a loose bracket, you can carefully use sterile tweezers to slide the bracket back between two teeth, rotate it to the correct position, and then place it back in the center of the tooth. Be sure to let our team know as soon as possible so Dr. Lewis can determine whether or not an emergency visit is necessary.
Swallowing A Piece Of Your Appliance
In the case of a broken wire, bracket, or other removable piece, there is a rare chance you may swallow a piece of your appliance. Very few patients experience this, but it is still something we want you to be prepared for.
If a piece is missing, before assuming it has been swallowed, look to see if it is within your periphery and clear to remove yourself. If you are positive you can extract the piece yourself, do so very carefully. If you have doubts, do not attempt removal. In case you feel yourself coughing something up or have trouble breathing, contact KBL Orthodontics right away so we can aid you.
Similar to canker sores, these sensitive bumps on the skin can irritate the area around your lips, gums, and tongue. They are quite sensitive to the touch, so it is best to avoid directly touching them.
Though they can go away within two weeks, we suggest a couple of solutions to ease discomfort, the first being rinsing your mouth with warm salt water. Repeating this daily can get rid of any bad bacteria left lingering around. You can also apply a topical gel such as Ora-Gel to ease the soreness.
Guard Your Smile With Proactive Steps!
If you choose to go the clear aligners route, you are able to eat as you normally would! As long as your aligners are taken out before you eat and are thoroughly cleaned before they return to your teeth, you are set. Dr. Lewis stresses this is an easy yet important step that cannot be overlooked! Should a piece of food get stuck in your teeth, tooth decay can quickly follow.
Unfortunately, some foods are off-limits during your fixed braces orthodontic journey in order to keep them intact. If you chew sticky candy or bite too hard down on a cracker, it may cause food to get stuck or discomfort with pressure, respectively. Though you may not be able to eat one of your favorite foods, it is a small price to pay for a beautiful smile that will last the rest of your life!
If you are a braces wearer and play sports, an important measure KBL Orthodontics recommends you take to prevent emergencies is wearing a mouthguard. This simple step gives your teeth and jaw an added layer of protection from potential trauma sometimes suffered during contact sports.
Protecting your teeth, and not just while wearing an orthodontic appliance, is so important in order to preserve your oral health and the longevity of your teeth.
Attending Your Scheduled Checkups
Going to your occasional checkups helps us ensure your treatment is going according to plan to help you feel confident in the care we provide you. Each visit allows us to identify any early issues, offer guidance on how to best care for your appliances, and discuss any questions you may have thought of since your last visit.
We want your smile to last, and making sure your treatment is going according to plan is one of the best ways we can do so!
Maintaining everyday oral health habits is a simple yet vital way of keeping your teeth clean and protected from preventable diseases.
Brushing and flossing your teeth each morning and night and taking the time to clean small crevices that may be hiding food are essential to preventing oral issues down the line. Other methods of keeping up with your dental hygiene include using mouthwash, cleaning your tongue, and drinking water every day to wash light stains off your teeth.
We Have Got You Covered!
Available to you at our Dothan practice, Dr. Lewis and the rest of our team at KBL Orthodontics are here to help you every step of the way! If any concerns arise, don’t hesitate to give our office a call at 334-471-5128, and we will take care of you.