From time to time something will go awry with your braces that requires prompt attention. That’s why Nicole Thompson, DMD, of Lovely Smiles Orthodontics offers orthodontic emergency treatment for patients in Richmond, Texas. If you’re concerned about discomfort or a broken orthodontic device or component, call the office to determine your next steps. Online booking is also an option for less time-sensitive needs.
In reality, there is no such thing as a true orthodontic “emergency.” Because braces and dental devices are long-term treatments, the vast majority of problems can be corrected without a same-day visit to Lovely Smiles Orthodontics.
It is possible, however, to encounter a dental emergency while you are in orthodontic treatment. If you sustain a traumatic injury that affects your teeth or any of the soft tissues in your mouth, emergency dental care is the best approach.
Many issues can be dealt with at home or during your next scheduled orthodontic appointment. With traditional braces, sometimes a wire on the braces may poke you. Simply use a pencil eraser, cotton swab, or even the rounded side of a spoon to gently push the protruding wire forward, or clip the end of the wire with nail clippers.
If a bracket or device detaches from the surface of your tooth, bring it with you to your next scheduled visit and let the office know so additional time can be added to your appointment. If a tooth is knocked out or loosens, your braces will usually hold it in place, but you should schedule a visit immediately.
If you find your braces or orthodontic appliances are consistently breaking or causing pain, take a close look at your habits to see if there are changes you can make. Eating hard or sticky foods can detach brackets and break wires, and should be avoided.
In some cases, your unique dental anatomy will make certain orthodontic devices uncomfortable. Dr. Thompson can assess your devices to see if adjustments can be made to increase your comfort level.
There are no true emergency situations with aligner trays, as there are no sharp components or devices that can detach inside your mouth. Aligners sometimes present challenges that can be easily managed at home.
If you switch to a new set of trays and they don’t seem to fit properly, use your Chewies™ to improve the fit. If you see air bubbles inside your aligners or they aren’t fitting snugly over your teeth, gently bite down on a Chewie for 2-3 minutes to help press the aligner into place.
If this doesn’t help, you can also return to wearing your previous set of aligners for another week or two before switching to the new set. Your teeth may simply need a bit more time to shift.
If you lose your tray, try placing the next set to see if they fit. If so, simply wear those trays for the remainder of time left for your lost trays, plus the time advised for the new trays. If the next set doesn’t fit, wear the most recent aligners you have and call the office to order a replacement set.
You can schedule orthodontic emergency visits easily online or by phone.