Braces for your teeth aren’t always comfortable, and sometimes they can cause problems. If you’re having a metal braces emergency, you need to see a dentist or orthodontist. But how do you know what counts as an emergency? And what should you tell your emergency dentist?
We do emergency dental work here at Carolina Dental Arts. If you have a metal braces emergency, we’ll do our best to schedule you an appointment.
What Qualifies as an Emergency?
A metal braces emergency is also called an orthodontic emergency. It involves any situation in which your braces need immediate intervention. With many issues, you can fix the problem at home. But if any of the following problems are happening, you need to see a dentist:
- Your teeth, mouth, or face were injured by the braces.
- You have an infection in your gums or another part of your mouth.
- You’re experiencing severe pain, even if you’re not sure what’s causing it.
Sometimes a metal braces emergency might not actually be caused by the braces. But it’s still a dental emergency that needs to be swiftly diagnosed and treated. So even if you’re not certain of the cause, you should make an appointment.
Infections are a big deal because they can spread. Similarly, injuries need to be dealt with before they get worse.
What Is Not a Metal Braces Emergency?
When you’re dealing with metal braces, lots of things might feel like an emergency. It can be extremely uncomfortable to have the wiring slide out of place. But these are a few circumstances that aren’t a metal braces emergency. Instead of seeing an orthodontist, you can deal with these issues at home.
Sometimes the brackets of your braces will detach from the teeth. Or they might just loosen slightly. There are plenty of causes, including:
- Fiddling with your brackets
- Bumping into an object with the braces
- Eating sticky or hard foods that pull the brackets out of place
A loose bracket isn’t dangerous. You also don’t need to worry that your braces will stop working. Your orthodontist will fix the issue at your next scheduled appointment.
However, loose brackets can be fairly uncomfortable. You can put wax over it to prevent it from rubbing uncomfortably against your gums or other teeth.
If a bracket completely snaps off, then you should take it out. Try not to fiddle with the spot left behind.
Sometimes the wires in your braces will poke out and make you uncomfortable. They might rub against your cheeks or gums. If the angle is right, this chafing might even make your mouth bleed.
But this is another situation that isn’t a metal braces emergency. Thankfully, you can actually deal with this one at home.
You have quite a few options for DIY remedies:
- Like with loose brackets, you can put wax on the end of the wire to reduce chafing.
- You can use a clean cotton swab to push the end into the tube.
- You can use disinfected nail clippers to trim the end of the wire.
With the last suggestion, you should use rubbing alcohol as a disinfectant. This solution may be difficult to do without a mirror. Alternatively, a member of your family might help you.
Some mild soreness is common with braces. It’s a side effect of the teeth adjusting to the new position in the mouth. But this type of pain is common and expected, so you don’t need to worry!
Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen can help with the pain. Sometimes these medications have anti-inflammatory properties, too.
If you’re comfortable chewing, you might chew on sugarless gum. The lack of sugar is better for your teeth, and the motion stimulates blood flow.
You might also experience a feeling of “looseness” in your teeth. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to come out. This is a natural effect of the bones shifting. Over time, the teeth will stop feeling so loose.
Keep in mind: Mild soreness is different from pain. If you’re experiencing serious pain, you should see your orthodontist. You might have an infection or other issue. Serious pain can include any pain that’s strong enough to distract you, especially if OTC painkillers don’t help.
If you’re dealing with a metal braces emergency, give Carolina Dental Arts a call. We are a North Carolina practice serving the Raleigh and Durham areas. Our New Bern Ave location is open weekends and nights, and our staff speak Spanish. We’ll do our best to book you an emergency visit as soon as possible