You’re eating dinner when you feel something snap on your metal braces. Maybe you’re relaxing after your most recent checkup and notice a wire poking the inside of your cheek. Instinct may tell you to panic and declare either situation an emergency. However, most orthodontic issues that happen can be handled at home or over the phone with our Grand Rapids orthodontist.
Here’s what you need to know about what does and doesn’t qualify as an orthodontic emergency.
For something to be labeled a true dental emergency, the injury typically needs to be severe. These are instances where the help of a skilled professional, like Dr. Miller is needed immediately and waiting is not advised. In certain scenarios, other individuals may also be necessary such as your general dentist or emergency room doctors.
Above all else, do your best to remain calm. Start by giving our Grand Rapids orthodontics office a call and reporting your symptoms, how you’re feeling, and what all has happened. With that information, we can then assess the damage and take appropriate action to get you the help you need.
When you’re not in severe pain but an issue has still occurred, i.e., a broken wire, it’s likely it can wait to be addressed. Granted, this doesn’t mean the problem is happening at a great time and you don’t want it fixed.
Dr. Miller does still ask that you call our office and tell us what’s wrong. We’ll advise you over the phone how you can remedy the situation until we can schedule an opportunity for you to come in person. Oftentimes, common problems can wait a few days if you as the patient don’t have time to stop into our office right away.
One way you can prevent an unplanned trip to our office is to watch what you decide to snack on or eat for meals. When you have metal, clear customized, ceramic, or lingual braces, certain crunchy, sticky, or hard foods can damage the components.
Examples of foods to avoid when wearing braces include popcorn, nuts, corn on the cob, raw crunchy fruits or vegetables (eat cooked instead), caramel, and other sticky candy. Of course you can eat whatever you want with Invisalign clear aligners. Simply take them out when you’re ready to eat and brush your teeth before putting them back in place.
Be sure to also wear a custom-made retainer if you play a contact sport like basketball, football, soccer, or lacrosse. Having your retainer in place over your braces will protect them (and your teeth!) if you accidentally get hit in the mouth.
It can be stressful when something seems to go wrong with your braces or clear aligners. However, it’s important to remember to stay calm and get in contact with our office so our orthodontist in Grand Rapids, MI, and staff can provide assistance. Call Miller Orthodontics today at (616) 942-9320 to request an appointment.