What is an orthodontic emergency?

Orthodontic emergencies are rare, however, they do happen and it’s important to know how to react during emergencies.

For most orthodontic emergencies, there are temporary solutions you can make prior to visiting your orthodontist. Most solutions can be done using either orthodontic wax or nail clippers.

How to avoid orthodontic emergencies?

It’s important to follow the instructions of your orthodontist and avoid any unnecessary problems.

  • Maintain great dental hygiene by brushing, flossing between your appliance and staying hydrated every day
  • Avoid foods that are hard, sticky, chewy, crunchy, sugary, acidic or that you have to bite directly into
  • Taking care while playing contact sports and wearing a protective mouthguard

How to handle orthodontic emergencies?

If you experience any extreme bleeding or other dental emergencies such as broken, cracked or lost teeth, it’s important to contact your orthodontist or dentist as soon as possible.

Loose bracket or wires:

If a section of your orthodontic appliance has become loose, it will most likely be causing you discomfort. For a loose bracket, try applying orthodontic wax to hold it down while waiting to see the orthodontist.

Protruding or loose wire:

If a section of the archwire begins protruding from a bracket try to use the tip of a pencil eraser to push the wire back down and secure it with wax. If you cannot fix the wire and it’s causing pain or discomfort, feel free to use a clean pair of nail clippers to gently clip that section of the wire off.

Swallowed piece of my appliance:

This can be very alarming if this happens, however most of the time the piece will either be dissolved by stomach acids or pass naturally. The only time to be alarmed is if you swallow a piece and it is accidentally breathed into the airway. Although this is very rare, it’s important to act quickly if this happens.

It’s important to call your orthodontist for advice if you believe you have aspirated an orthodontic piece. You may be advised to visit an ER or ENT doctor.

Food trapped between teeth:

This is not an orthodontic emergency and can easily be fixed with a piece of floss, or interdental brush to remove the trapped food.

Loose teeth:

It’s perfectly normal to experience loose teeth while undergoing orthodontic treatment. Your teeth need to loosen in order to move into straighter positions. Once your teeth have moved, your teeth should no longer feel loose.

Soreness after adjustment:

After your appliance is adjusted, you will feel general discomfort and tenderness. This will be particularly noticeable while eating and biting down.

This discomfort should only last about three to five days after an adjustment. To help relieve the discomfort you can try washing your mouth out with warm salty water or taking painkillers that you normally would choose for a headache.

How to handle Invisalign emergencies?

To prevent your Invisalign trays from becoming damaged, please make sure to remove them before eating or drinking anything other than water. Always store your Invisalign trays in their protective case while not in use.

It’s also important to ensure you remove and insert your trays carefully to avoid unnecessary damage.

If you require a new tray, it will take around two weeks to receive it, which may defer your treatment time a bit.

Lost your Invisalign tray:

It’s not uncommon for Invisalign trays to go missing, some people just simply misplace them. If you happen to lose your tray, it’s important to wear your previous tray to maintain the current position of your teeth and prevent them from returning to their original positions.

However, you may be recommended to progress onto your next tray if you were close enough.

Broken Invisalign tray:

If your tray becomes broken, they should not be worn as they can negatively impact your straightening process. Please contact your orthodontist who will recommend for you to wear your previous aligner or progress onto your next aligner tray.

Cracked Invisalign tray:

If you notice your Invisalign tray has become cracked, it’s important to take extra care while removing and inserting to prevent further damage. You should continue to use the tray if it’s still in one piece, until you’re ready for the next sequential tray.

Contact South Yarra Orthodontics Melbourne

If you believe you may be suffering from an orthodontic emergency that needs attention, please contact our team online or call on (03) 9131 1999.

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