There’s a lot of chaos in the world related to COVID-19, including a statewide lockdown here in Idaho. One concern many people have at this time is if they should be visiting the orthodontist. Idaho Falls is experiencing a new and difficult situation and we want to help ease you through it. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to whether or not you should visit the orthodontist at this time.
The first thing you should do is discuss your routine office visits and standard care schedule with your orthodontics office. If you need urgent orthodontic care, however, it’s a different story. Some urgent problems may require an office visit — even at times like these. However, many situations can be handled short term on your own until you can get in to see an Idaho Falls orthodontist.
The first thing to remember in any urgent care situation is to stay calm. Worrying won’t solve anything and panic can actually work against you. So stay calm, do what you can, and contact our office if you feel you need urgent orthodontic care. And remember: your primary short term goal should be to protect your mouth until you can get in to see your Idaho Falls orthodontist.
As you know, brackets are the ceramic or metal pieces attached to each tooth. A special oral resin is used to attach the brackets to your teeth. Chewing on hard or sticky things can weaken or break that resin, causing the bracket to come loose. If you have a loose bracket, it’s likely to poke your cheek, tongue, or gums. You should have received some orthodontic wax when you got your braces. You can put some of that wax on the bracket to keep it from poking you. Then, you’ll want to contact your orthodontist to schedule an appointment.
When talking about braces, the word bands is used to refer to the metal rings placed around your back teeth or front teeth. If one of these bands comes loose, it will need to be reattached or replaced by your doctor. If the band completely comes off, you should not attempt to put it back in place yourself. Simply keep it safe and bring it with you to your appointment.
Any broken wire will need to be replaced relatively soon because your braces won’t work without them. Like a loose bracket, broken wires can poke into your cheek, gums, or tongue. This can become very painful over time, so it’s important to take action quickly. If the end of the wire is poking you, you can cut the end with small wire cutters, pliers, or nail clippers that have been sterilized. You can also cover the sharp ends with orthodontic wax to protect the inside of your mouth.
Urgent Orthodontic Care Hacks
Sometimes you just can’t get into the orthodontist as quickly as you would like. Below are a few hacks you can use to maintain the situation short term.
- A clean pencil eraser can be used to gently move broken or bent wires into more comfortable positions. Always be careful doing this as undue stress could lead to additional problems.
- Orthodontic wax is your friend in an urgent situation, so you should always keep some on you. It’s not a long-term solution, but you can mold a small piece of wax into a shape that will protect your mouth from any sharp pieces until you can see your doctor.
- Discomfort from broken braces can be managed using topical oral pain relievers like Anbesol.
- A simple saline solution can be made by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of warm water. Rinsing your mouth with this solution can help keep areas of discomfort clean and relieve some soreness.
- Broken wires can be snipped short to make them easier to manage. This can be done with small, sterilized wire cutters, pliers, or nail clippers.
Our team wants to make sure your smile becomes everything you want it to be. That’s why we’re so passionate about taking care of you, our patient. If you need urgent orthodontic care in Idaho Falls, please contact our office so that we can help you.