Orthodontics Emergencies – What to Do
True emergencies requiring a visit to the orthodontist are very rare, and many orthodontics issues that might feel like emergencies can usually be taken care of in the comfort of your home. Check out this guide to learn how to take care of those little irritations caused by braces for kids.
1. Loose or Broken Brackets
If a bracket becomes loose, you might feel it sliding back and forth on the wire. Even though this may cause irritation, it does not necessarily need immediate attention. You can place wax over the loose bracket to protect against irritation and prevent the bracket from sliding too much. If the bracket breaks off completely, save it if you can, and bring it to your next orthodontist visit.
2. Poking Wires
Sometimes during orthodontics treatment, an arch wire or wire tie can shift slightly due to things like eating or brushing. The wire might start poking your cheek or the back of your mouth. Even though this can be very uncomfortable, there are a few things you can do to make it feel better. You can put wax over the end of the wire that is poking you to dull the sharp point. If wax alone is not fixing the problem, you can use nail clippers or small wire cutters (cleaned in alcohol first.) to carefully snip the bothersome wire as close to the bracket as possible.
3. Mouth Sores
With braces for children, it is not unusual to experience mouth blisters or sores at some point during orthodontic treatment. While these can be very uncomfortable and irritating, there are quite a few home remedies to help. Over-the-counter pain medications like Advil can help with some of the aching and tenderness. Another helpful agent is a good, old-fashioned saltwater rinse. Mixing a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swishing it in your mouth is a great way to both disinfect and provide some comfort.
There are also a number of products designed to make braces for kids a little bit more comfortable, including:
- Orajel makes an antiseptic mouth rinse as well as a topical solution for mouth blisters and sores
- ComfortBrace is a product that acts as a protective strip that is applied directly over top of your brackets and wires, conforms to your mouth, and guards your lips and gums from blisters and sores