Not every problem with your teeth qualifies as a true dental emergency, but anything that causes pain can interfere with your ability to function normally. Root canals, tooth extractions, and other surgical procedures are necessary when a tooth is damaged and cannot be repaired. However, some smaller issues can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers or by simply scheduling an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
There are also a number of issues you can experience while wearing your braces that can be considered dental emergencies. These include a broken bracket, loose wires, and minor wire poking. It’s important to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible if you experience any of these problems so that you can get your braces repaired properly. Otherwise, you risk further damaging your teeth and gums. Here is what you can do in case of a dental emergency while wearing braces.
If your braces are loose or a wire is poking your cheek, you can cut the wire out of the bracket with a pair of nail clippers. If the wire is still painful and irritating, put a small ball of orthodontic wax over the area to protect it until your appointment.
If you break or lose a brace or retainer, go to the nearest dental office immediately so a replacement can be issued if needed. If you can’t make it to the office right away, keep the broken part and a few pieces of floss with you so you can temporarily fix the brace until you are able to go to the dentist’s office.
If your mouth is bleeding after an injury or if you have lost a tooth, rinse out your mouth with warm water and apply a cold compress to your face to reduce swelling and inflammation. Until you can see a dentist, stick to soft foods that aren’t too crunchy or too hot.
The best way to avoid a dental emergency is to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth after every meal or snack and flossing at least once per day. Eating a healthy diet is also important, as cavities and other oral health issues can be caused by eating sugary foods and drinks too often. Finally, you should visit our dentist at least twice a year so that we can examine your smile and clean your teeth as needed. This not only allows for early detection of any potential dental problems but gives us a chance to answer any questions you may have about your oral health.
In addition to practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, the most important thing to do is to wear a protective mouthguard while participating in sports where your mouth may be vulnerable to injury. This includes winter sports like skiing or snowboarding as well as summer activities like skateboarding or biking. If you are currently receiving orthodontic treatment, it’s especially important to wear a mouthguard regularly in order to protect your braces and the soft tissues of your mouth. By wearing this protective equipment, you may be able to avoid some of the most common types of dental emergencies, such as a tooth that has been knocked out.
A custom mouthguard is the most comfortable option and will protect your smile better than an over-the-counter or boil-and-bite. Check your mouthguard for wear regularly. Replace it as soon as signs of wear appear. Store your mouthguard in a container with a tight-fitting lid when not in use. Bring your mouthguard to every orthodontic visit so our team can check it for wear and provide a replacement if needed. Custom-made mouthguards offer the best protection. Since these appliances are designed to specifically fit your mouth, they also offer greater comfort and performance.