Did you know this week is EMS Week? National Emergency Medical Services Week brings together local communities and medical personnel to publicize safety and honor the dedication of those who provide the day-to-day lifesaving services of medicine's "front line." This information can be used throughout the year for public education and safety programs.
As we acknowledge National EMS Week we want to take the time out to let you know about some emergency situations you may face while under orthodontic treatment. What you may not have realized is that many problems faced while under treatment can actually be resolved at home. Most orthodontic concerns, like, poking wires and mouth soreness can be fixed without scheduling an emergency appointment.
Here are some of our helpful emergency tips:
Poking Wire - Sometimes a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no longer causes you discomfort. Try to tuck the wire back in and out of the way with the blunt end of a toothbrush, pencil eraser or Q-Tip. Orthodontic wax can always be used to cover any archwires that might be sticking out. Also...nail clippers can be used to clip a broken archwire that may be poking out if wax doesn't ease you comfort.
Loose Wire - Use Tweezers to re-insert archwires that have slipped out of the molar bracket. Place wax over it if there is any remaining discomfort.
Soreness - Warm salt-water rinses are helpful in relieving soreness. You may also take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or Advil as you would for a headache or similar discomfort. Carefully chewing on a half piece of sugarless chewing gum will help alleviate the pain and help your mouth feel "back to normal" much more quickly.
Even though you are careful, you may occasionally damage your appliances. We want our patients to be informed of problems that may occur, and understand how to solve them, at least temporarily, until it is possible to return to our office.
Our office is generally open Monday through Friday and emergency time is held open during each day so that we may schedule you as soon as possible during normal clinic hours. Should you have an emergency after hours or on the weekends, the office recording will give you instructions and provide you with a number to call.