Emergency Orthodontics in Arlington, VA.
What Is Considered an Orthodontic Emergency?
Genuine orthodontic emergencies can include a range of situations.
These may involve:
- Significant trauma or injury to the teeth, face, or mouth
- A knocked out tooth/teeth
- Infection, swelling, and/or bleeding of the gums, mouth, or face
- Severe and uncontrollable mouth pain
Most Orthodontic Emergencies Are Minor and Can Be Resolved at Home
Your orthodontic treatment moves your teeth from their original positions over time. For those first few days after starting your treatment, your teeth may feel loose and your gums may feel tender. This is completely normal!
To help alleviate this temporary discomfort, you can stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. If you wear braces, you should stay away from hard foods until they are removed. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. This will go away as well, but you can put wax on the braces to relieve this discomfort. Just ask us, and we’ll show you how!
You can also do a twice-a-day salt water rinse to help with this issue. To make a salt water rinse, mix one teaspoon of salt into an 8-ounce glass of warm water, and rinse for thirty seconds.
If your discomfort is severe, you can take Tylenol or whatever you normally take for similar, minor pains. Keep in mind, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen Sodium will slow tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Problems with brackets and wires can occur, but please be reassured that these are generally not urgent issues. If a bracket breaks or becomes loose, you’ll receive a new bracket at your next appointment. In cases where the broken bracket is causing discomfort, you can cover it with orthodontic wax.
If the problem extends to a wire becoming loose, it is acceptable to try to put it back into place using tweezers or needle-nosed pliers. Floss can be used, as well, to tie the wire back in place. As a last resort, you can use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened.
Sometimes a wire may protrude and cause discomfort to the cheeks. If this occurs, you can easily reposition the wire by using a pencil eraser or a Q-tip. Before doing so, make sure to dry the area with a cotton swab or paper towel. In case any wires or ties become misplaced and cause inconvenience, you can try putting them back in place using tweezers that have been cleaned with rubbing alcohol.
If you find one of your elastic ties missing, there’s no need to contact our office as we will replace them during your next scheduled appointment.
Dr. Iverson or Dr. Wahab may place separators or spacers between your teeth, creating space for the bands that will be placed around certain teeth. In the event that a separator becomes dislodged, we recommend performing what we call the “floss test.”
To conduct the floss test, simply take a piece of floss, fold it in half, and tie two knots in it. Gently pass this floss between your teeth. If the knot moves easily through without any resistance, then there is sufficient space. However, if you encounter any difficulty or if the knot gets snagged, please contact our office to schedule an appointment for replacing the separator.
Depending on how soon your next appointment is scheduled and considering your specific situation, our team may advise you to come in promptly so that they can reposition the separator or they may opt to address it during your upcoming visit.
As durable as they are, retainers are not indestructible. It is possible for the metal or plastic parts of your retainer to bend or break. If this happens, stop wearing the retainer immediately and give us a call.
Be sure to collect all the pieces in a plastic bag, and bring them to your next appointment. Retainers are essential to maintaining your new smile, so call and schedule as soon as possible so that you are not going without yours for an extended period of time.
Swallowing pieces of your braces or other appliances doesn’t happen often. If it does occur, try to remain calm. Whatever has been swallowed will normally pass during regular bowel movements.
However, if you experience difficulty breathing as a result, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Sometimes a particle of food can get stuck between a band and your tooth or gums, causing discomfort. First, try getting it out by brushing, flossing, or using a toothpick. If you still can’t dislodge it, give us a call.
We will likely see you the same day if you call during business hours, or the next day if you call after hours to help get you comfortable. If the discomfort is not intense, going a few days to a week before your next appointment is typically fine.
Types of Retainers Available At Iverson & Wahab Orthodontics
Come See Why Iverson and Wahab Orthodontics in Arlington, VA is the Perfect Fit for You
We understand how orthodontic treatment can change your life for the better. At Iverson and Wahab we work hard so every patient gets the care they deserve. Whether you’re looking for braces, clear aligners, or just looking for an expert opinion, we’re here to help. We proudly offer flexible hours and ample free parking for all of our patients. Plus, as a single-location orthodontic practice we are always available to the patients in our Arlington community. Schedule a complimentary consultation to get started today!