November 1, 2021
Warning! All parents, you are now officially entering the “School Break Zone.” This time of year, of course, brings family gatherings, parties, and treats! It’s hard to turn away from the ooey-gooey treats which is why your American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) member wants you to be prepared if an orthodontic emergency happens in your house.
Most importantly, your orthodontist would like you to understand that accidents can happen during orthodontic treatment. When they do happen, it can result in a call or unplanned visit to your orthodontist – this is what you would consider an “emergency visit.”
Many times, your first reaction may be, “it’s not a big deal,” or “I’ll just wait until after the holidays to call.” Your AAO orthodontist would like to remind you to make the call–don’t wait. Your orthodontist is your partner in creating a HEALTHY smile. If there is an urgent need during this time–for example if you are in pain, or an injury has occurred–your orthodontist should be notified and you should call for an emergency appointment.
In the meantime, stock up with supplies to help discomfort. Essential items to keep in your medicine cabinet are:
- Orthodontic wax
- Dental floss
- Interproximal brushes
- Topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel)
- Over the counter pain relievers (such as one taken for a headache)
Plus, a warm salt water rinse can be soothing, as well. The recommended mixture is 1 tsp. salt to 8 oz. warm water.
Ultimately, an important part of successful orthodontic treatment is communicating with your orthodontist. If an emergency arises, it’s okay. Don’t panic. This hiccup shouldn’t have much of an impact on your overall treatment plan. Given the situation, your AAO orthodontist will work hard to get you back on your treatment plan. Don’t forget, you play an essential role in your treatment. All you have to do is follow your orthodontist’s directions. With holiday fun on the horizon, now is the time to have a plan in place in case you eat too many ooey-gooey treats.
To find an AAO orthodontist near you, visit https://www.aaoinfo.org/locator.