Orthodontic Emergency Care for Braces

Orthodontic Emergency Care for Braces

Missing bands, loose brackets, protruding wires, gum irritation… while you won’t need to be rushed to the hospital in an ambulance for these emergencies, they can still be incredibly painful and require immediate, prompt care. If a bracket pops off in the middle of a Tuesday afternoon, it’s easy to head straight to your orthodontist and be better by dinner. But if the same issue occurs on a weekend when the office is closed or while you’re on a trip out of town, panic may set in. How do I address this problem? Good news: a few simple supplies commonly found at home can remedy many of the problems until an orthodontist is able to provide immediate care.

First, assemble your orthodontic emergency kit. Common tools and supplies include:

  • Non-medicated orthodontic relief wax to address wire and bracket irritation
  • Dental floss to remove stuck food particles
  • Sterile tweezers for fixing ligatures
  • Small, sharp clipper
  • Q-tips
  • Salt
  • Toothpicks
  • Topical anesthetic
  • Salt

Here’s what to do in the event of an orthodontic emergency:

1. Ligature comes off

A ligature is the technical name for the tiny rubber bands that hold the wire to the brackets. If a rubber ligature pops off, you may be able to put it back in place using a pair of sterile tweezers. First, sterilize the tweezers in rubbing alcohol. Next, carefully use the tweezers to return the ligature to its proper position. If a wire ligature is sticking out (but is not loose), bend it down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate irritation. Once you’ve resolved the immediate concern, notify your orthodontist. You may need a quick check up to ensure no other ligatures have come loose.

2. Protruding wire

Sometimes the end of a wire will come out of place, causing irritation to the inside of your mouth. Using a similar technique described above, use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to gently flatten the wire against the tooth. You can also apply dental wax to minimize discomfort. If the wire has become incredibly painful and is causing severe irritation of the gums and mouth tissue, another option is to clip the wire. This should be the last resort. Do not try to clip the wire yourself: have a parent, guardian or other adult assist you. First, reduce the possibility of accidentally swallowing the wire by folding tissue or gauze around the area. Next, use a pair of sharp clippers to snip off the protruding wire and then apply relief wax to the irritated area.

3. Loose bracket or wires

This is the most difficult orthodontic emergency to treat at home. In general, as soon as you notice any loosening of a bracket or wire, immediately call your orthodontist to schedule a check-up. Brackets are the metal part of the braces that attach to the center of teeth using a special adhesive. Brackets are typically positioned in the center of each tooth. Most brackets only become loose when they are knocked off from playing contact sports (e.g., you’re struck in the face with a ball or elbowed in the mouth) or from eating hard, crunchy foods (here’s a list to avoid just to be safe!). If the loose bracket has rotated and the wire is sticking out, you can temporarily reposition the bracket using sterile tweezers. Slide the bracket along the wire until it is between two teeth. Rotate the bracket back to its correct position before sliding the bracket back to the center of the tooth.

Orthodontic emergencies are hardly a fun experience, but with the right tools on hand at home, you’ll be able to address much of this discomfort as quickly as possible. Always schedule a follow-up appointment with your orthodontist to discuss the problem. Not sure if metal braces and brackets are worth the discomfort and hassle? Another option is clear aligners from Invisalign, which discreetly straighten teeth without the need for brackets or wires.

Is Invisalign Worth the Cost?

Is Invisalign Worth the Cost?

Can you put a price tag on the perfect smile? The shape, colour, and alignment of your teeth can have a big impact on your confidence. Just as a perfect smile can be a huge boost to your self-esteem, crooked or discoloured teeth can hurt your confidence. Crooked teeth are not just visually unattractive, but they’re also associated with an increased risk for oral health problems and bad breath– yikes!

If you spend time thinking about ways to hide your teeth or avoid smiling, you’re missing out on a full life. Smiling in social and professional situations sends a message that you’re approachable and friendly. Not smiling or looking down when speaking in an attempt to “hide your teeth” sends the opposite message. Rather than attracting people with your engaging personality and bright smile, you’ll be sending a “please don’t bother me” message. That’s not a great first impression to make when going on a date or interviewing for a big job.

Don’t let bad teeth ruin your confidence. If you’re embarrassed by a crooked or an imperfect smile, it’s never too late to make a change. Imagine life with a straight smile and no more crooked teeth: you’ll laugh without hesitation, speak confidently at your next presentation, and smile freely on a date without the fear of scaring your date away! More»

Will Insurance Pay for Invisalign?

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If you are considering Invisalign to straighten your teeth, the cost of treatment may be a major concern. Invisalign, like braces, represents a significant financial investment. It’s natural to assume that Invisalign will be too expensive and that your dream smile is simply out of reach. That doesn’t have to be the case!

Depending on which service provider you choose, you may be pleasantly surprised by just how affordable Invisalign really is. Even better, if your insurance company includes orthodontic coverage, this coverage may help to offset treatment costs by several thousand dollars. More»

What REALLY Matters When Selecting an Invisalign Provider

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Congratulations! You’re ready to take a big step and make your dream smile a reality by getting Invisalign. There’s just one small problem– you need to select a provider. Maybe your current dentist offers Invisalign as a treatment, but you aren’t sure if you should see an orthodontist instead. Maybe you’ve been flooded with recommendations from well-meaning friends and co-workers and aren’t sure how to evaluate all these different options. Now you’re overwhelmed by options and you’re not any closer to getting straight teeth!

Choosing the right Invisalign provider can make the difference between a smooth, easy treatment program and an expensive, frustrating experience. While it’s great to consider several different providers, it’s critical you have a system for comparing your different options and you know which questions are the right ones to ask.

Keep these guidelines in mind when making your decision: More»

3 Questions to Ask Your Child’s Orthodontist

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Did you know children as young as seven years can benefit from orthodontic care? The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children receive a check-up by age seven that evaluates orthodontic health and identifies opportunities for early intervention. Choosing the right orthodontist to perform this checkup – and later provide your child with braces – is an important decision. Between hockey practice and homework, however, it’s easy to put this decision off until the last minute.

Feeling the pressure to make a selection or scrambling to get an appointment? All is not lost. As you begin to narrow down your search, the most important part is the in-person interview. Even if an orthodontist has glowing online recommendations, the in-person interview is still important. This visit is an opportunity to ask the orthodontist questions about his or her approach to care and evaluate the practice as a whole.

You want to be comfortable and confident that the orthodontist you select will offer your child the best possible care at an affordable price. Use these questions to help guide this selection process.

Here are 3 Essential Questions to Ask Your Child’s Orthodontist More»

Dating Woes? Boost Your Confidence with Straighter Teeth

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Roses are red, violets are blue, your smile is… crooked? Nothing kills confidence faster than feeling insecure about crooked teeth. When you’re feeling insecure about your smile and appearance, this lack of confidence can affect your romantic life, too.

In a world where modern dating has been reduced to swiping left and right in an app, your profile picture can make or break your dating chances. Worse, if you actually do land that dream date, once you do meet up in person those same old insecurities can bubble back up. Maybe you’re afraid to laugh or smile too much because you don’t want your date to notice your uneven teeth. Rather than being the best, most confident version of yourself, you’re insecure and nervous– killing any potential romance before you even get halfway through a cup of coffee. More»

Invisalign: More Affordable Than You Realize

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Are you dreaming of straighter teeth in 2017 but worried about the treatment costs? Invisalign may be more affordable than you realize. In fact, the total cost for Invisalign treatment is similar to conventional braces. If you’re choosing between the comfort and ease of clear, removable aligners versus uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing metal braces, Invisalign is the “clear” winner. More»

Jaw Pain? Learn How Orthodontic Care May Help

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Most patients who seek orthodontic treatment do so because of crooked teeth or misaligned bites, known as “malocclusions”. But what about individuals who experience a popping or clicking sensation in their jaws or suffer from chronic jaw pain– could braces or Invisalign help?

TMJ is a chronic pain condition that occurs in the temporomandibular joint, which acts like a sliding hinge connecting the jawbone to the skull. The precise cause of TMJ pain can be difficult to determine as multiple factors including jaw injuries and stress may play a role. In some cases, self-care measures can help relieve this pain. For other patients, persistent jaw pain can severely compromise their quality of life. More»

New Year, New You: Why Get Invisalign in 2017

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Lose those pesky extra pounds, go to the gym, eat healthy, achieve my dream smile with straighter teeth …

Are straighter teeth on your New Year’s resolutions list? By the end of January, even the most well-intentioned resolutions like losing weight or exercising more fall by the wayside. Straightening your teeth is an easy resolution to keep. The first step is as simple as an appointment with an orthodontist. More»