Dealing with Broken Brackets or Wires: A Guide to Managing Orthodontic Emergencies
Orthodontic treatment can change lives, but sometimes people face problems like broken brackets or wires. In this situation, it is necessary to call the orthodontist and get professional advice, but there are several first actions you may take to cope with the situation until you reach the dental office.
- Assess the Situation:
The first thing is to assess the severity of the issue. Determine if it’s a broken bracket, a loose wire, or a combination of both. Gently inspect your braces in a well-lit area to identify the specific problem.
- Get Temporary Relief for Discomfort:
In case the broken bracket or wire causes any sort of irritation, there is always the option of using orthodontic wax as a temporary buffer. You may put a very small piece of wax over the rough or pointed parts to get rid of any irritation or pain, at least until you see your orthodontist.
- Handle with Care:
Broken brackets and wires must be handled with extreme care. Brackets and wire pieces should not be unnecessarily manipulated with your fingers, and if a broken piece of the brace falls out from your mouth, save it for inspection by the orthodontist. With gentle handling, no further damage would be inflicted to the braces.
- Don’t Attempt Repairs Yourself:
It can be tempting to try repairing the problem for yourself, but this is an error that needs to be avoided. Home repairs can lead to more fatal damages and can interfere with the overall effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment. Leave the repairs to the experts.
- Use Orthodontic Pliers in Emergencies:
In some other instances, you might feel some sort of pain in your cheeks or the wire is loose and poking you in the cheek. In these cases, you will need to use sterile orthodontic pliers to press the wire back carefully into place. This will only be a temporary measure before you go to see an expert.
- Use a Warm Saltwater Rinse:
Mouth rinsing with warm salt water can also help in soothing the associated areas that are irritated or sore due to broken brackets or wires. Mix one teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and swish the solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting it out.
- Get a Timetable for Emergency Consultation:
Contact your orthodontist and relay the ordeal while scheduling an emergency appointment. Inform them about the situation, and they shall guide you on what to do next. In some cases, they can advise you over the telephone up to when you get to their office.
- Be Honest with your Orthodontist:
Let your orthodontist know if you have tried doing something at home to fix the problem while waiting for that emergency appointment. This will help them make the right judgment and changes that might be necessary in your treatment plan.
By following such simple procedures and seeking professional help immediately, you guarantee the problems and complications are solved early enough to ensure the continued smooth progression of your treatment. Remember, good communication between you and your orthodontist is the key to resolving any problem that may arise.