If dental emergencies happen - we’re here to help.
If you experience any of the following orthodontic (or dental) emergencies, it’s important to seek immediate care.
- Damage to your braces
- Injury or damage to the teeth, face or mouth
- Unusual swelling of the gums, mouth or face
- Excessive pain in the mouth or gums
For emergencies during regular office hours, phone our office and we will see you as soon as possible.
Once you reach us, we’ll help you identify how soon you need to be seen. Most orthodontic emergencies can wait until a convenient time can be found for your visit. Broken braces or sticking wires can sometimes cause discomfort, and if so, can be covered with wax or sugarless chewing gum for temporary relief. Tender teeth and gums usually happen with braces commencement or major adjustments, and can be managed with over the counter analgesics like Paracetomal or ibuprofen.
We are discussing emergencies in regards to braces, as emergencies and discomfort with Invisalign® plastic aligners rarely occur. This is another advantage to our invisible treatment option!
How to prevent orthodontic emergencies
The best way to treat an emergency is before it even happens - with prevention, that is. The most common case of emergencies that we see is sports. So, it’s important to protect your teeth, especially during physical activity. We recommend wearing a mouthguard that has been custom fit for your teeth and braces.
Do you or your teen play sports? Ask Dr. Duncan to fit you with a custom-made mouthguard, that’ll give you maximum protection and comfort.
Foods to avoid
When you have fixed braces, there are some foods you’ll need to be careful with, or avoid altogether. This is because they can damage your braces, or even your teeth. These include:
- Hard or crunchy foods like hard candies and nuts
- Chewy foods like gum, doughy bread
- Sticky food like toffees, marshmallow
- Foods you bite into, like whole apples and corn on the cob
Inflammation and gum disease
If you notice your gums appear red and swollen, this could be a minor irritation or a sign of gum disease. This is best prevented by practicing good oral hygiene during your orthodontic treatment, such as thorough brushing and flossing after each meal, and by attending your general dentist and/or hygienist every 3-6 months
If you have prolonged redness, soreness or swelling, it’s important to talk to your orthodontist or general dentist. You could be suffering from gingivitis, which is inflamed, red gums, or have periodontal disease, which is damage and loss of bone and gum tissue caused by progressive gingivitis
If you are prone to redness and gum sensitivity, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste, flossing after you finish brushing. You should also try to avoid smoking, biting your nails, or chewing on pens, as this can irritate the gum margins around the teeth.