What Is an Orthodontist Emergency? An Overview of the Challenges in Orthodontics

Orthodontic Emergencies

As an orthodontic patient, you might think that you are doing and going through the hardest part. After all, you built up the courage to research your options for orthodontic treatment, and find a solution to that imperfect smile that has made you so self-conscious.

You ultimately have also chosen the orthodontic practice you have trusted with your oral health. But your orthodontist has to beat quite a few challenges to craft a successful treatment plan for each patient.

Before deciding which treatment option to treat a patient with, an orthodontist in Albany considers the following six aspects:

  • Eliminate or reduce social obstacles which can result from an unappealing dental appearance
  • Improve the dental and facial appearance of people that are already socially accepted but wish to improve their quality of life.
  • Provide a development process that is as normal as possible; improve maxillary function and correct problems caused by functional alterations.
  • Reduce the impact of trauma or diseases on teeth
  • Facilitate other dental treatments

Additionally, prior to starting your orthodontic treatment, your orthodontist will examine your teeth, mouth, and jaws during your initial consultation.

They might ask you to bite your teeth together and ask questions to learn if you have problems chewing or swallowing or if your jaws ever make a popping sound when you open your mouth. The Dr. may even ask questions about your oral care routine, and any other things they may find relevant to providing you with proper care.

Aside from dealing with unique individualized treatment plans, orthodontists also have to deal with orthodontic emergencies. Although quite rare, critical orthodontic emergencies do happen without warning. Let’s take a closer look at orthodontic emergencies in Albany.

What Is an Orthodontic Emergency?

Orthodontic emergencies are when you’re in an intense amount of pain that doesn’t get better using over-the-counter pain medications or rinsing your mouth with lukewarm saltwater. Likewise, the situation may include when your orthodontic appliance or braces break off or if your wires or brackets no longer sit secured to your teeth and you can’t temporarily fix it yourself.

Loose Brackets

One of the most common orthodontic emergencies you will most likely experience is a loose bracket. Brackets are square metal devices that sit over your teeth thanks to a powerful bonding agent. Even though the adhesive used by orthodontists to glue the brackets to your teeth is strong, they can and do snap off.

The good news is that brackets have a wire connected to them, so they’ll just stick to the wire without too much of a problem. If one of your brackets becomes loose, schedule an appointment with your orthodontist urgent care.

Problems With Wires

Wires will be another of your problems if you are undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces. Wires are what keep the pressure on your teeth while they move into the desired position. Wires, however, can snap, or they can stick out of the bracket if kept too long.

When this happens, the wire can poke the inside of the cheek, causing sores or general discomfort. Luckily, for these issues, you can use a pair of household tweezers to bend the extra length of wire, moving it away from the inside of your cheek.

If the wire is loose, you can use orthodontic wax to hold the wire into place until you schedule an appointment with an emergency orthodontist.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

According to the Mayo Clinic, Periodontal Disease (periodontitis), or the same as gum disease, is a severe gum infection that damages the soft tissue and gums, in worst cases destroying the jawbone.

Periodontitis is common but fairly preventable. Periodontitis can lead to tooth loss and is also a risk factor for contracting heart and lung disease.

If you suffer from periodontal disease, you may experience symptoms such as swollen, tender, or red-colored gums. Periodontal Disease, however, is fairly preventable by keeping a good oral hygiene routine.

Periodontal Disease and Age

Whether we like it or not, age affects all of us and also has side effects on our health.. With age, we become more prone to oral health issues, like periodontal disease. Receding gums, for example, are a common side effect of aging and can be caused by almost anything, including aggressive brushing and flossing or your genetics.

Another cause of the periodontal disease is dry mouth since it can result from certain medication usage that affects aging adults. Lastly, another cause of periodontal disease that affects older adults can be limited mobility, making it more difficult for the older adult to maintain a proper oral hygiene routine.

The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

Whether you want to avoid getting periodontal disease or undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces, maintaining good oral hygiene is essential to overall oral health.

A great oral hygiene routine should include brushing and flossing, if possible twice a day, even after snacks. Maintaining your oral hygiene is your first defense to fighting the build-up of dental plaque, which can lead to an excess of bacteria in the mouth.

Additionally, you should visit your orthodontist every six months for regular cleanings to be even more effective. These professional cleanings can eliminate plaque in areas you can’t reach with the use of your toothbrush.

Dietary Restrictions and Orthodontics

When it comes to protecting your braces to avoid an orthodontic emergency in Albany or even to keep your teeth happy and healthy, you should try to avoid some foods during your orthodontic treatment. You should also limit the quantity in which you take some other foods to keep your teeth healthy and happy.

  • Sticky foods such as gum, caramel, and even peanut butter can cause the wires and bands of your braces to become damaged.
  • Hard foods such as apples, carrots, and candy can damage wires, bands, and even brackets.
  • Crunchy foods such as chips or popcorn have also helped to cause damage to orthodontic appliances.
  • Tough foods such as bagels, steak, and even corn on the cob can also cause damage to the wires and brackets.

Even after your orthodontic treatment, some of the mentioned foods can get caught in between your teeth and may be too difficult to remove, causing swelling, pain, and even infection if not removed.

A patient shouldn't eat hard fruits

Get Help for Your Orthodontic Emergencies at Estes Orthodontics

If you experience any type of orthodontic emergency or believe you are suffering from symptoms common in periodontal disease, please schedule an appointment with the team and doctors at Estes Orthodontics today by calling: 510-525-1772. We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams and maintaining optimal oral health.

Dr. Estes and her team are committed to ensuring each patient and their families receive excellent care using state-of-the-art treatment options.