Emergency Orthodontic Care
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Emergency Orthodontic Care
What constitutes an orthodontic emergency? Anything that seems out of place, anything that is lost, anything that just isn’t the way it’s always been points to a need for emergency orthodontic care. Allow Dr. Rosemary Lelich and her gentle team at Family Orthodontics in St. Louis Park, MN, tell you when your orthodontic emergency requires immediate attention.
Major Orthodontic Emergencies
When something happens to your mouth while you’re wearing braces, there are different levels of what’s serious and requires immediate attention and what can wait. Here are some of the major issues that require emergency orthodontic care:
- Blow to the mouth: Whether you were playing sports, roughhousing, or suffered a fall, any blow to the mouth requires emergency orthodontic care for someone with braces. You may not see anything wrong with the brackets and wires or clear aligners, but your orthodontist might. It’s important to check and make sure everything is in place so it continues to work properly.
- Infection: You can still get tooth infections and cavities when you have braces. In fact, your risk increases because cleaning your teeth is more difficult with hardware in place. If you are suffering from any swelling or bleeding of the gums, contact your dentist and orthodontist to find out the best course of action to save your teeth and protect your braces.
- Serious tooth pain: You should expect to have mouth discomfort off and on throughout your orthodontic treatment. The teeth are being moved into new positions, after all. But severe, constant pain may indicate that tooth decay is present – or something has changed in the fit of the braces.
Minor Orthodontic Emergencies
There are orthodontic emergencies to stress about and there are less stressful. It’s still important to contact your orthodontist no matter what’s going on, but chances are the problem is easier to fix than you realize. Your orthodontist has seen it all – and there is a solution for everything.
- Damaged or lost aligner: It’s a problem when you lose or damage an Invisalign aligner. Each tray needs to be worn for a certain length of time to move teeth according to plan. You want your orthodontist to be aware of this problem right away so you know if you can switch to the next tray, should wear the previous tray, or if replacements need to be ordered.
- Loose, broken, or damaged bracket or wire: Did you eat an off-limits food and end up with it stuck to your hardware? There’s a reason braces-wearers are supposed to stay away from sticky, chewy, and hard foods. Chances are, the damage is causing irritation, which could be relieved with orthodontic wax, but call your orthodontist anyway to find out the next best steps.
- Broken rubber band: The elastics attached to your brackets are positioned to deliver a certain amount of force. Over time, the rubber bands lose strength and break, which is why your orthodontist changes the elastics at every appointment. If an elastic snaps on your time, you can change it at home, but call your orthodontist to discuss the situation and find out if you need to be seen right away or if it can wait until your next checkup.
- Loose teeth: Your teeth are going to loosen up when you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. They are moving into new positions so they may feel a little wobbly at times. This isn’t a bad thing – it’s proof that your orthodontics are working correctly – but it can certainly feel terrifying. If this looseness is accompanied by pain, a saltwater rinse can soothe sore gums or a warm washcloth held to the outside of your jaw can offer some relief.
Get Emergency Orthodontic Care in St. Louis Park, MN
Your orthodontist is always available to guide you through your orthodontic journey. Along the way, accidents and emergencies can happen, and Dr. Lelich and her team want to know about what you’re experiencing right away so your treatment can stay on track. If you have an emergency, contact us immediately.