For the most part, orthodontics and oral appliances are fairly hassle-free. Sometimes they can be a minor irritant, if you love certain foods that can damage orthodontics, but that’s a very small sacrifice for a short period of time.
Other times a person may not like the way they look, or sometimes the extra care can feel tedious. These are all small annoyances compared to how much orthodontics can improve the look and health of a person’s smile. So most people put up the minor discomforts gladly. Most people’s experiences with braces and appliances are pretty average and major discomfort is uncommon. In daily life, however, a person with braces or an oral appliance may have something go awry with their orthodontics. Most of the time it does not warrant an emergency visit and can be handled perfectly fine at home or on vacation until the patient is able to make an appointment or see their Idaho Falls orthodontist.
Unexpected Issues That Might Happen At Home Or On Vacation
Some unexpected, but not uncommon issues you may have with your braces or appliances are:
- Mouth and soft tissue soreness or irritation
- Broken, loose, or missing brackets
- Missing elastic or wire ties and ligatures
- Protruding or poking wires
- Lost aligners or spacers
If any of these occur, let your Idaho Falls orthodontist office know. These aren’t emergencies that warrant an immediate visit, but just let the office know what has occurred and how you are responding to it. It will likely be addressed at your next scheduled appointment, or the office may have you come in earlier, but they will know about it and add it to your chart. The office may also have extra helpful tips for you, so be sure and let them know. Otherwise, these issues are pretty quick and easy to temporarily fix!
A sore mouth, sore teeth, and sore spots are pretty common with braces. After an appointment where braces have been tightened or adjusted, or with a new set of aligners, the teeth begin to move and that may cause some general soreness around the teeth and in the mouth. This is the case, especially in the beginning. This pain can be managed very well with over the counter pain meds like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Eating soft foods, such as soup, pasta, smoothies, and others like this will also help alleviate pain. This pain or soreness will most likely be minor and will ease over a few days. If you have mouth sores, like canker sores or painful spots from where brackets touch lips at first, a topical pain remedy with some lidocaine in it, like Oragel, can help. If a part of the appliance is rubbing on the soft tissue, orthodontic wax works great to buffer the contact. Simply roll up a piece of the wax, and mold it around the part of the braces that is causing the problem. Eventually, the mouth gets used to the braces being there, and these types of sore spots will cease. Your orthodontist in Idaho Falls will have provided you with wax when you got braces, if you need more, simply stop in the office and pick some up!
If you notice a bracket has come loose on one of your teeth, again, this is not an emergency. Contact your Idaho Falls orthodontist office and let them know. You can straighten it out gently with a q-tip or tweezers, then gently push it firmly against the tooth. Try to be mindful of it and avoid using that part of your mouth to chew with, or watch what you eat carefully until you can get it repositioned and adhered at your orthodontist’s office in Idaho Falls. Most of the time a loose or missing bracket happens when a person bites into hard or sticky food, so try to avoid these until your braces come off! If you notice that the elastics have popped off, you can replace these with tweezers easily. Your orthodontist should have shown you how, and provided you with a few extras for exactly this reason. If a wire feels loose, or is jabbing at you, again use some wax the mold around the wire until you can get into the orthodontist office in Idaho Falls. If the wire is protruding from the last brackets at the back of your teeth, you can simply snip off the excess with fingernail clippers or small scissors.
In the event you lose an aligner, and can’t see your orthodontist in Idaho Falls right away, you can do a few things. If you have just started wearing that aligner in the last few days, simply put in the last aligner before the current one. That will keep your teeth in one spot until you can have your current aligner replaced. If you are 5 or more days in the one you lost, you can probably move up to the next aligner safely. So remember to keep your previous aligners just in case! And try to have your aligner case with you so you can always remember to store the aligners in the case, and not in your pocket, on your nightstand or elsewhere! A lost or missing spacer will just have to be replaced at your next visit. Call your Idaho Falls orthodontist and notify them when you see you have lost it. It’s not an emergency, but your orthodontist will have to replace it. If you have a major issue, such as a sports injury or other injury that loosens or knocks out teeth, or that damages your braces or appliance so much that it is causing great discomfort, this is an emergency. Go to the ER first, then contact your dentist and orthodontist after. Short of something like this, just relax and tackle the orthodontic issue at home or while on vacation with confidence.
Make And Keep Your Appointments With Your Idaho Falls Orthodontist
Small mishaps and issues with your braces and appliances can and will happen. They aren’t emergencies and you don’t have to feel anxious about them. Just remember to notify your orthodontist office, and then proceed with the proper measures until you can get to your next appointment. Making regular appointments with your Idaho Falls orthodontist and then keeping them is important to how well your results will be after the orthodontic work is complete. Keep your appointments, keep your teeth extra clean, be mindful of any small issues, and your orthodontic journey will be a success!