December 20, 2018
During the holidays season, the last thing on your mind is a dental emergency, but there is always the chance of one occurring. Thus, as a parent, you want to take whatever precautions are necessary to prevent your child from enduring any unnecessary suffering. Thus, your orthodontist in Newark, OH explains how to handle the unique situation of an orthodontic emergency for your child while traveling during the holidays.
What is an Orthodontic Emergency?
An orthodontic emergency is a situation where the orthodontic appliances have broken, dislodged, or they are causing unmanageable pain. These challenges can be harder to handle when your family is traveling for the holidays, but with a little creativity and preparedness, you can stabilize the situation until you can be seen by your local pediatric orthodontist.
The bands are metal rings that are cemented around the back teeth. If your child eats the wrong types of foods, it can cause them to partially dislodge or fall out. Until you can visit your orthodontist, keep the band, but don’t try to reinsert it.
Spacers are rubber rings that are temporarily placed between your teeth and left there for a few days. Their function is to allow access to the area between your teeth so orthodontic bands can be added.
If they fall out during this time, you should contact your orthodontist to have them reinserted. Because there are no suitable home methods for addressing this problem, you should schedule a visit with your child’s orthodontist as soon as you return home from traveling.
Loose or Broken Brackets
Another emergency issue that can arise is for the metal pieces that are affixed to your teeth (called brackets) to become loose or to break. One of the more common causes of this is eating sticky foods like peanut butter or candy that can get trapped around and under the bracket and cause it to unseat.
Until you can take your child for a visit, you can place orthodontic wax at the end of the brackets to protect his or her tongue, gums and cheek from irritation or infection.
Protruding or Broken Wire
The wire is the part of the braces that applies the pressure needed to adjust the teeth. When detached, it can protrude and irritate the cheeks. If it breaks the skin, it could later lead to an infection.
A temporary solution is to move the wire into a better position using a pencil eraser or a Q-tip. If that doesn’t work, you may try cutting it with a nail clipper sterilized in alcohol.
Whether you are able to achieve a temporary solution for an orthodontic emergency, the most important thing to do is to reach out to your orthodontist to explain what has happened. He or she can then provide expert advice on what you should do to maintain your child’s braces in Newark, OH as best as possible until you can visit.
About the Author
An expert in pediatric orthodontics, Dr. Timothy G. Wigal earned his dental degree from the West Virginia University School of Dentistry. He then went on to receive a specialty certificate in orthodontics from the West Virginia University Department of Orthodontics. Dr. Wigal helps young patients recover from orthodontic emergencies at Wigal Orthodontics, and he can be reached for more information through his website.
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