Due to COVID-19 and the global pandemic almost all Orthodontic offices are closed or only open to emergency appointments. So, how can you handle potential orthodontic issues that may arise at home? There are a few different steps that can be taken while you are at home during the pandemic to keep your mouth free from any discomfort and maintain any temporary fixes. If you are experiencing any extreme discomfort it is extremely important to notify your orthodontist as soon as possible to alleviate any pain you may be experiencing.
Tools and Supplies to Keep on Hand
Being sure to keep these tools and supplies on hand will ensure that you are readily prepared to handle the most common orthodontic issues.
- Orthodontic Wax
- Dental Floss
- Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen
- Topical Anesthetic
- Salt-Water Rinse
- Interproximal Brush
While it is normal to experience discomfort while you are going through our orthodontic treatment, however, orthodontic discomfort should not last any longer than a couple of days at most. If you are having severe discomfort or pain it’s important to rinse your mouth with a salt-water solution and take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to alleviate some of the discomfort. Be sure to contact your Orthodontic office is the pain persists longer than a couple of days as there could be an underlying issue that may need to be addressed or discussed.
Mouth Sores or Irritation
Sometimes braces and the wires can be irritating to a patient’s mouth, especially when eating, and can cause irritation or even mouth sores. While braces themselves do not cause mouth sores, they can be precipitated or exacerbated by the irritation of the brackets. While mouth sores are not actually considered an orthodontic emergency, prompt relief can be achieved by applying orthodontic wax or topical relief such as ora-gel or orabase to the ulcerated or irritated area. By placing orthodontic wax on top of the bracket that is causing irritation you are creating a smooth surface barrier between the bracket and inside of your mouth to help eliminate irritation. Orthodontic wax and topical relief can be purchased at any drug store or large supermarket while you are awaiting your postponed orthodontic appointment. If after multiple days the irritation and or mouth sores do not subside, be sure to call your Orthodontist to create an appointment to help find the underlying cause or issue regarding the irritation.
Occasionally the ends of wires can come loose and ultimately can irritate the inside of your mouth. By using a Q-tip or disinfected tweezers try to push the exposed wire flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position coat the exposed wire with orthodontic relief wax to provide immediate relief until you are able to see your Orthodontist.
Loose Bands or Brackets
If any of your orthodontic braces or brackets have become loose or fallen off please contact your Orthodontist immediately. Experiencing a loose or broken bracket does qualify as an orthodontic emergency so it is crucial to call your Orthodontist immediately following the orthodontic issue regarding your brackets to make an appointment.
While we are all ready to get back to our normal lives, if you have an orthodontic issue during these times not all issues qualify as an emergency. If you have any questions regarding what qualifies as an orthodontic emergency, give our office a call and a braces or an Invisalign specialist will be able to answer any and all of your questions and guide you in the right direction regarding what steps you need to take to keep your smile healthy during COVID-19.