You've planned your summer vacation, booked the summer camp, and packed your suitcase. But have you forgotten about your braces or your child’s braces? Don't forget to prepare for the unexpected this summer and make sure you're ready to handle any unpleasant emergency that might arise.
Early Preparation Prevents Stress Later
Before heading off on a summer adventure, it’s a good idea to practice a little prevention. In addition to attending your regularly scheduled checkups, there are a number of practical things you can do to help avoid the likelihood of an orthodontic emergency. Some things to keep in mind include:
• Always read through the instructional brochures you’re provided
• Do not eat hard or crunchy foods
• Keep orthodontic wax on hand
• Wear a mouthguard if you’re involved in athletic activities
• Check your mouth for broken or loose appliances each day
Common Orthodontic Emergencies
Summer is one of the busiest times in our San Antonio office. Between outdoor activities and recreational sports, orthodontic emergencies are not uncommon. If you experience any of the following, here are a few things you can do until you can see Dr. Vandeberg:
Wires Poking Cheeks or Mouth
Orthodontic wire ends are short and curved to avoid puncturing your cheek or gums. However, if the wire slips, a bracket falls off, or you arrive home in pain, you may need to address the problem before coming to our office. They’re often relieved by trimming the end with nail clippers, applying pressure with a pencil eraser to bend the end, or applying orthodontic wax over it.
Sometimes orthodontic brackets come loose from the tooth. The bond is usually broken when you bite into something too hard or sticky. Perhaps you consumed acidic drinks that gradually etched away at the cement. At times, it may appear that there is no rhyme or reason for the bracket to come loose; it simply does.
Biting or chewing in that area of your mouth is not recommended. If you are bothered by
the loose bracket, you may be capable of removing it on your own by gently releasing the band that holds it in place. If not, you'll need to see an Dr. Vandeberg to have it reattached.
Sores in Your Mouth
It may take a few weeks for your mouth to "get used to" having orthodontic appliances. Although your lips and cheeks and mucosal linings will gradually become accustomed to the rough-textured surfaces, the first few days may include some irritation or sores.
Mold a small pinch of orthodontic wax over the area, causing the most irritation. Even if you want to try to develop a callous inside your mouth, open wounds or constant irritation should not be ignored. Use the wax as needed, but ask us to examine the area during your next appointment.
Experiencing an Orthodontic Emergency?
Orthodontic emergencies are best handled by our San Antonio orthodontist at San Antonio Orthodontics. However, if you are in pain, out of town, or require after-hours care, you can contact any reputable dental provider near you.
Contact our office for an appointment if you have an orthodontic emergency, such as broken braces or wire problems.