September is Emergency Preparedness Month, but don't think that major weather events should be the only thing you should prepare for. Orthodontic braces emergencies happen often, and while most aren't severe, it is still a good idea to have a plan in place in case something happens. We offer the following suggestions to keep your teeth and braces protected should an unexpected event happen.
Many orthodontists give out an emergency kit for their new patients. If you don't have one, or want to make your own, it should have the following items:
- Alcohol wipes
- Mouth mirror
- Plastic wire pusher
- Wire cutter
Major vs. minor emergencies
Lip or cheek irritation and loose or broken wires are some of the most common minor emergencies. If you call your orthodontist for assistance, he or she will most likely instruct you on how to temporarily fix the problem until you come in for a scheduled appointment. If you are in severe pain or feel like you have an oral infection due to braces, this is a major emergency and you should get in contact with your orthodontist as soon as possible. If you are out of town, see if you can make an emergency appointment with a local orthodontist. As a last resort, you can go to an emergency room, where the doctors may at least be able to alleviate some pain.
If you have an orthodontic emergency and are unsure of what to do, don't hesitate to contact a New York City orthodontist today.