If you’ve just started wearing orthodontics, you probably know that it’s taking a while to get used to them. That is normal, but it can sometimes seem like every bit of pain and discomfort seems like an emergency. In this blog, we will outline some common orthodontic emergencies and tips for how to avoid them.

Common Orthodontic Emergencies:

Loose Brackets & Wires

Brackets and wires in your braces may come loose if you chew hard or sticky foods. If a loose band or bracket is still attached to a wire, leave it as is until you can have it repaired. If it is too uncomfortable, you can cover the bracket with some orthodontic wax until you can make it to your orthodontist’s office.

A Poking Archwire

When your teeth begin shifting, the arch wire that connects them may begin to poke the back of your mouth or irritate your cheeks. You might be able to adjust this yourself or clip the end of it, but not before contacting your orthodontist to make sure it is safe to do so. the ends of the wire with some orthodontic wax to relieve any discomfort. You can also cover the ends of the wire with some orthodontic wax to relieve any discomfort.

Loose Teeth

Your teeth will loosen on their own as you wear braces. This is a sign that your braces are working. However, they shouldn’t be too loose or too painful. If you have a tooth that feels like it’s loose enough to fall out, make an appointment with your orthodontist’s office to discuss what is happening and what can be done to prevent anything more serious from happening.

How to Avoid Orthodontic Emergencies

The best way to avoid orthodontic emergencies is to know how to take care of your braces properly throughout your entire treatment. However, emergencies are … well, emergencies, and sometimes no matter how cautious you are or how well you take care of your braces, the wires loosen, the bands pop, or you experience orthodontic discomfort.

1. Avoid Foods that Can Damage Your Braces

Most people wear braces for about two years. All chewy, sticky, crunchy, and hard foods should be avoided during that time. While this may seem like a long time to go without popcorn or bubble gum, hard foods can break the brackets of your braces and sticky foods can bend the wires. If you have a loose wire, don’t try to fix it yourself. Call Wonder West Orthodontics. In the meantime, if a wire is poking into your cheek or lip and causing irritation, put wax or a wet cotton ball over it to dull the sharp edge.

2. Pay Attention to the Level of Pain & Discomfort You are Experiencing

Some discomfort is a normal part of orthodontic treatment, especially in the hours after the braces are placed on your teeth or after a recent tightening or adjustment. However, if the pain doesn’t subside in three to five days, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment at Wonder West Orthodontics. Until then, try dissolving a teaspoon of salt in an eight-ounce glass of water and gargling with the solution. Over-the-counter pain medication will relieve discomfort, too.

3. Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports

Just because you wear braces doesn’t mean you can’t play sports. You just need to take some extra precautions. Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are common. The best way to protect your mouth and your appliance is to wear a mouthguard. There are several different types of mouthguards available, so be sure to ask the team at Wonder West Orthodontics what’s best for you.

4. Brush & Floss Your Teeth Regularly

In order to keep your braces in good condition and avoid orthodontic emergencies, it’s important to brush and floss thoroughly after every meal. It’s easy for small particles of food to get trapped in your braces, and if the food isn’t removed, it gets wedged between the teeth and gums and causes plaque.

Have an Orthodontic Emergency?

If you suffer an injury to your mouth or you feel pain that is too severe to endure, make an emergency appointment as soon as possible. The same goes for any swelling or other signs of infection. These issues aren’t normal and need to be addressed immediately. You can count on our team of professionals at Wonder West Orthodontics to help you.