Broken brackets, busted bands, wonky wires and other orthodontic issues can all send patients scrambling back to the orthodontist’s office. While these are not uncommon occurrences, most of the time they can be easily prevented with the right precautions. Here are four tips on how to avoid an orthodontic emergency.
1. Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene
One of the best things you can do to protect your oral health as well as your orthodontic investment is to maintain regular brushing and flossing habits. Braces are prone to attracting small bits of food, which can turn into plaque if left untreated. Try to brush and floss after every meal to prevent plaque buildup.
2. Avoid Hazardous Foods
Food doesn’t just get stuck in your braces – sometimes it can be downright dangerous. Crunchy, sticky and chewy foods can wreak havoc on orthodontic appliances. They can lead to broken brackets and bent wires, both of which can cause discomfort.
3. Wear a Mouth Guard
Wearing braces doesn’t mean you have to give up playing your favorite sports, but you should make one minor adjustment to your pre-game routine to help avoid an orthodontic emergency. Mouth guards can protect your teeth as well as your braces while playing sports, so be sure to take this simple extra precaution.
4. Know the Signs of Abnormal Pain
Some pain is normal after getting your braces on, as well as after each follow up adjustment appointment. This discomfort usually subsides within three to five days. If the pain does not subside after five days, you may need to meet with your orthodontist to ensure everything is functioning as it should. Sometimes minor changes like trimming your wire can make a big difference in comfort and prevent more serious orthodontic complications.