While your orthodontist office may be open, they are delaying non-emergent appointments due to COVID-19, with emergency appointments taking precedence. In cases like this, you may be wondering how you can handle non-emergency orthodontic issues at home. If you experience an orthodontic emergency at home, there are ways you can temporarily fix the issue and relieve any discomfort and prevent any additional damage. It is still important to notify your orthodontist. In many cases, the issue can be handled over the phone or over video chat. Stay in touch with your orthodontist on appointment availability, but to ensure your comfort and orthodontic health during the COVID-19 pandemic, be prepared to handle some non-emergency issues at home. 

Tools and Supplies to Keep on Hand

To prepare for common orthodontic issues, be sure to stock up on items such as dental floss, toothpicks, Ora-Gel, and Q-tips. You will also want to have the following items on hand:

  • Orthodontic relief wax
  • Disinfected tweezers
  • Salt
  • Interproximal brush
  • Non-prescription pain reliever (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)

These supplies are great to have on hand when you have braces and will help to ensure that you remain comfortable even when orthodontic issues arise. 

Common Orthodontic Issues that You May Experience

Some common orthodontic emergencies you can expect to experience at home include:

Mouth Sores Some patients suffer from mouth sores. Although they are not caused by braces, they can be made worse and become more irritated due to your braces. You may notice ulcerations on your lips, cheeks, or tongue. Use a small amount of topical anesthetic such as Ora-Gel and apply it to the surface with a cotton swab. If the discomfort lasts more than a few days, consult with your orthodontist. 

Loose Ties and Wire Ligatures The bands that are available in a variety of colors and are changed out every month are known as ties. These can come, and if you notice them in time, you can easily place them back into their original position. Wire ligatures, on the other hand, can be trickier to deal with when they become loose and may need to be removed or bent back down to limit irritation to your cheeks and gums.

Protruding Wire In some cases, the end of your wire can work its way out of place and poke into your cheek, causing irritation to your mouth. You can use clean tweezers or a Q-tip to gently push the wire down so that it is flat against your tooth. If you are not able to move the wire back into a more comfortable position, cover the wire with dental wax. Be sure to let your orthodontist know about any changes to your wires. 

Mouth Irritation Your braces can irritate your mouth, especially when you are eating. Using a small amount of orthodontic wax as a buffer between your and the metal of your braces can help reduce this discomfort. To do this, pinch off a small piece of dental wax and roll it into a ball that is about the size of a small pea. Take the ball and flatten it, placing it completely over the area of your braces that is causing irritation. If you can’t get the wax from your orthodontist, most drugstores carry it as well. 

Reliable, Professional Orthodontic Care in Pittsburgh

King Orthodontics offices are now open. If you are experiencing an orthodontic emergency, please contact our office to schedule an appointment. If you have any questions or concerns about any orthodontic issues, we are happy to help.