As a member of the Advanced Orthodontics family, you’ll learn a lot about your smile throughout your orthodontic journey. It’s important to us that you understand everything from how we move your teeth to why you need to care for your appliance, and we want you to feel confident in your knowledge. During this time of social distancing, it’s more important than ever to know how to avoid orthodontic emergencies.
As orthodontists around the country are temporarily closing, knowing the details of your treatment plan can prepare you for any issues you may have during this time. Currently, our office is only open for orthodontic emergencies. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Serious injury or trauma to the face, neck, mouth, teeth, or gums
- Swelling, infection, or bleeding of the gums or mouth
- Severe pain or discomfort in your teeth, mouth, face, or neck
While most orthodontic emergencies happen unexpectedly, you can always be prepared! Being more conscious of the decisions you make in your daily life and how they affect your orthodontic treatment can help you minimize your risk of an emergency. To find out more, keep reading below!
Food restrictions can be some of the most difficult guidelines to follow for new braces patients. Remember: they’re there to protect your teeth and appliances! Crunchy and sticky foods can cause major damage to your braces. Because of this, it’s important to avoid foods like:
- and many types of candy.
While this can be frustrating, it’s only temporary! Before you know it, you’ll be coming in to get your braces removed and have the smile of your dreams.
Keep Your Smile Safe
While you might not be playing any school or club sports, for the time being, we know many of our patients are finding ways to practice their skills from home. No matter what sport you’re playing, it’s always a good idea to protect your mouth. Wearing a mouthguard is the best way to do this!
Mouthguards are the easiest, most effective way to protect your smile while playing sports. They’re simple to use and keep your teeth and gums safe from any potential damage. It only takes a small amount of pressure on your braces to cause irritation or cuts and abrasions to your gums and cheeks. Using a mouthguard even during practice keep your lips and cheeks from bumping against your braces and teeth.
Although regular mouthguards provide some protection, we typically recommend using an orthodontic mouthguard for our braces patients. Standard mouthguards are made of a type of thermoplastic that heats up in your mouth and molds to your teeth. This leaves it unable to adjust with your teeth as they shift during treatment, which can actually work against the straightening process.
Orthodontic mouthguards, however, don’t have that problem. They’re made from a high-grade silicone that protects the brackets from impact-related damage and helps prevent painful situations, such as your lip getting caught in your braces. Because they’re designed to fit over your braces, they’re slightly bigger than standard mouthguards, but they’re just as comfortable. There are also over-the-counter options available online. These will provide you with effective protection while meeting all of your basic mouthguard needs.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Appliances
Taking good care of your teeth and appliances as you practice social distancing can help you stay on track! Although the rest of your daily routines may have changed, it’s critical to maintain all of your regular oral hygiene habits and keep taking care of your appliances. Here are some guidelines to follow, for whatever treatment you’re in!
- Wear Invisalign aligners as directed by Dr. Nielson or Dr. White.
- If you don’t have the next aligner in your current series, continue to wear the previous aligner for 15-18 hours a day until your next in-office visit.
- If you lose or break an aligner, use the most recent one in the series.
- Continue to use any other equipment (such as elastics) as instructed by Dr. Nielson or Dr. White.
- If you run out of aligners, don’t stop wearing them! Contact our office to discuss your next steps.
- Continue to wear elastics as directed by Dr. Nielson or Dr. White. If you run out, let us know, and we’ll be happy to mail you more!
- If you have any wires poking out, you can apply a small ball of orthodontic wax to help relieve any discomfort until you can make it into the office. You may also trim the wire with a pair of nail clippers or small scissors if you feel comfortable doing so.
- If you have a loose bracket, let us know! We’ll fix it at your next in-office appointment. Until then, you can try to gently slide the bracket back to the middle of your tooth.
- Avoid all restricted foods! This means sticky and crunchy foods, as well as anything else that would be considered too hard for braces to handle. This will help prevent any emergencies, and keep us all safe at home!
- And of course, keep your braces clean and free of food debris or plaque!
- Continue to do turns, as instructed by Dr. Nielson or Dr. White.
- Schedule a virtual appointment to talk to us about your next steps.
- If you’ve lost or broken a retainer, contact the team at Advanced Orthodontics and we’ll talk about your next steps.
- If your bonded retainer has come loose, continue to wear your removable retainer full time until we are able to see you and either remove the broken portion or repair the area.
Advanced Orthodontics Is Here For You
If you’re experiencing a true orthodontic emergency, don’t hesitate to get in touch! Although our office is currently closed, Dr. Nielson and Dr. White are still available to meet your needs. Our team is committed to keeping your orthodontic experience safe and stress-free! With the advances in modern technology, we can use phone calls, texts, and virtual visits to ensure you get the high-quality care you deserve.
If you’re worried about any part of your orthodontic treatment, please reach out. We’re happy to answer any questions or concerns that may arise. Your smile is our top priority!