The best way to prep for potential orthodontic emergencies is to know what’s possible. Brackets and wires are attached meticulously to the teeth so they stay in place, and Invisalign trays are designed for regular removal, but even when you’re doing all the right and normal things as an orthodontic patient, emergencies can still happen.
If you wear traditional metal braces or ceramic or clear braces, dental adhesive is used to attach brackets to tooth enamel. These should stay in place for the duration of your treatment, but sometimes the bracket and archwire attached to it start to move together. If this is the case, it’s possible the adhesive did not cure correctly. If the bracket falls or rotates around the archwire, do your best to move it back to the proper position. Orthodontic wax can sometimes work as a temporary adhesive until you see your orthodontist.
A broken archwire is a common orthodontic problem and is known to cause soreness or irritation, especially on the cheeks. You may want to bend the wire into a less irksome position but this could cause more damage. The best course of action for relief is to place a small piece of orthodontic wax over the protruding end so mouth tissues do not suffer. Know, of course, that this is a temporary solution – you will need to see your orthodontist right away to replace the broken wire.
Loose Molar Bands
Molar bands are not to be confused with rubber bands. These small metal rings are fitted around the back molars and cemented in place, typically for patients whose teeth are not fully erupted. If a band becomes loose and left untreated, decalcification – white spots – can occur on the tooth because the dental bonding agents are not sealing the band from plaque, bacteria, and saliva build up. If the band has come off, don’t try to reaffix it yourself – wait for your orthodontist.
Damaged or Lost Invisalign Tray or Retainer
Unfortunately, lost or broken appliances are common. Even though Invisalign trays and retainers both come with their own cases and are easy to store and carry around so they don’t get damaged or misplaced or broken, that is often exactly what occurs. Call your orthodontist right away to get an appointment and a replacement ready as soon as possible. If you don’t keep Invisalign going day after day until treatment is complete, you’ll backtrack. And if you don’t have a retainer to wear day after day after your orthodontic treatment is over, all that hard work can start to reverse.
Get Help for Your Orthodontic Emergencies Right Away
Call your orthodontist right away to report any of these orthodontic emergencies and get the issues repaired as soon as possible. If there is anything with your braces that doesn’t feel right or seem right, always contact your orthodontist’s office to ask whether you need to be seen. Sometimes, you can get advice on the phone. Often, your orthodontist will want to see you to fix the acute problem.
Having a complication or orthodontic emergency? Contact Soleil Orthodontics to schedule your visit.