Are you a “hope for the best, prepare for the worst” type of person? Are you about to go on a long trip and want to be prepared if something happens while you’re away from Feil Orthodontics? Are you or your child accident-prone and about to begin orthodontic care, or are one or both of you currently experiencing an orthodontic mishap and don’t know what to do? We are here for your orthodontic emergencies!
What Is An Orthodontic Emergency?
When you hear the term “emergency,” you might think of a situation that requires immediate attention. While orthodontic emergencies usually don’t need a visit to the hospital, they are situations that demand prompt care to prevent further complications. So, what exactly is considered an orthodontic emergency?
- A loose bracket is an issue that can escalate into an emergency if not addressed. These components are crucial for aligning your teeth; any damage can disrupt the treatment process.
- Wire irritations or protrusions can also be a cause for concern. If a wire slips out of place and irritates the soft tissues inside your mouth, it can lead to sores or infections if not treated.
- Severe pain or ache that isn’t alleviated by over-the-counter pain relievers is an orthodontic emergency. Discomfort is normal, especially after a wire adjustment or you begin wearing a new aligner. However, pain is not okay and could be a sign of an underlying issue, such as an infection or a poorly adjusted appliance that needs immediate professional attention. If you feel you cannot wait, please seek care from a physician.
- Broken chains and missing color ties are another example of a non-urgent emergency. They need to be replaced as soon as possible, but there’s no need to panic!
- Lost or broken retainers and aligners need to be replaced immediately! These appliances are custom-made to fit your teeth perfectly and guide them into their correct positions. Losing or breaking them can not only set back your treatment but also result in additional costs for replacement. It can take as little as one day to see a noticeable difference in your smile when you’re not wearing your equipment! Please contact our office the moment you realize your retainer or aligner is broken or lost!
It’s important to note that not all orthodontic issues are emergencies. For example, a loose band or a missing spacer may be inconvenient but typically won’t require urgent intervention. However, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you’re unsure whether your situation is an emergency, it’s best to consult with us at Feil Orthodontics for a proper assessment.
How Can Feil Orthodontics Can Help?
When it comes to orthodontic emergencies, time is of the essence. Feil Orthodontics prioritizes your urgent needs to ensure you quickly get the care you deserve. Dr. Feil and our highly trained team are well-equipped to handle many orthodontic emergencies, from uncomfortable broken brackets and wires to lost or damaged retainers and aligners.
We understand these situations can be stressful, but our advanced technology makes fixing your braces a breeze! Whether it’s state-of-the-art diagnostic tools or cutting-edge treatment methods, our technological capabilities allow us to provide precise and efficient care. These upgrades are particularly beneficial in emergencies where quick diagnosis can be crucial for effective treatment.
Are broken braces making it uncomfortable to talk? Do you have an after-hours question and don’t want to risk forgetting by tomorrow? Feil Orthodontics offers on-call services for after-hours emergencies. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, text our office at 701-222-8668. Don’t forget to save this number to your contacts! (Please note: Texts after 9 p.m. will be responded to the following day.)
What Can You Do Until Your Appointment?
While we strive to address your orthodontic emergencies as swiftly as possible, there might be instances where you have to wait a short while before you can see Dr. Feil. But don’t worry; you can take some immediate steps at home to manage the situation and minimize discomfort.
- Use a cotton swab or the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire away from the irritated area gently.
- Apply orthodontic wax to a pointy wire to reduce friction against your gums or cheeks. It can also hold a loose bracket in place until your appointment.
- Warm saltwater rinse can offer some pain relief. Mix a teaspoon of salt in warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds. This can help soothe any inflamed areas.
- Orajel is a numbing cream that can also offer pain relief. Just be sure to watch the area because it might still develop an open wound or sore.
- Use clean nail clippers to clip a protruding wire. Don’t swallow the loose pieces!
- Please keep all the pieces of a broken retainer or aligner and store them in their respective cases. Bring them to your emergency appointment for professional assessment and repair. Avoid repairing them yourself, as this could lead to further damage.
Remember, these are temporary measures. The most effective treatment will come from a visit to Feil Orthodontics.
Important: Do NOT try to glue your loose or broken bracket back on yourself. Orthodontists use a special, teeth-safe glue. Glue you find at home or in the store could cause extensive damage!
How Can You Prevent Orthodontic Emergencies?
While some orthodontic emergencies are unavoidable, there are proactive steps you can take to minimize the risk. One of the most effective ways is to maintain good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing can help prevent infections and decay that could escalate into emergencies.
Being mindful of your diet is another preventive measure. Avoid hard, sticky, or crunchy foods that can damage your braces. Foods like apples or corn on the cob should be cut into smaller pieces before consumption.
Always store your removable appliances in their cases, clean them, and keep track of them!
Regular check-ups with Dr. Feil are also crucial. These appointments allow us to identify and address potential issues before they become emergencies. It’s also an opportunity for us to tighten or adjust your appliances to guarantee they function as they should.
Lastly, always wear protective gear like mouthguards during sports or physical activities to protect your orthodontic appliances and teeth from unexpected impacts.
Our Team Is Here For You!
Being a Feil Orthodontics patient means you have a full roster monitoring your smile progress and assisting you when things get off track.
Have questions? Feel like you might need an orthodontic emergency appointment? Contact one of our three convenient locations! Our staff in Bismarck, Mandan, and Beulah are happy to help.