Patients who are undergoing orthodontic treatment should know that Dr. Adam Schulhof is also an emergency orthodontist in Bergen County NJ. If you are wearing braces or clear aligners and need emergency care, contact The Schulhof Center right away.
Perhaps you’re not certain what is an emergency and what isn’t. It’s important for patients to understand the difference. We understand that wearing braces can be frustrating at times and even uncomfortable. Needing emergency orthodontic care at this time can be scary, but The Schulhof Center is here to help you.
What Is An Orthodontic Emergency?
An orthodontic emergency is a serious condition that requires treatment from an emergency orthodontist in Bergen County as soon as possible. There are two categories of emergencies: critical emergencies that need professional attention and non-critical emergencies that you can treat at home or can wait for a regular appointment. Treating your condition in a timely manner is important. It’s especially important for patients wearing braces since they have a higher risk of developing gum disease and cavities.
Types Of Orthodontic Emergencies
There are a variety of orthodontic problems that need urgent attention, either at home or from your emergency orthodontist in Bergen County. Learning about these problems will help you determine what kind of treatment you need.
Tissue irritation is a common issue for braces patients. Your hardware can rub up against your mouth tissues and irritate them, which can result in mouth sores, discomfort, and possible infection if not dealt with quickly. Using orthodontic wax on your braces provides a layer of protection. You can purchase orthodontic wax in stores or obtain some from The Schulhof Center.
Discomfort or Soreness
Another common problem for braces patients is discomfort and soreness. Braces work by gradually shifting teeth into correct alignment over a period of time, as do clear aligners. To do this, both put pressure on your teeth. Naturally, your teeth, jaws, and gums will feel uncomfortable and sore. You may even experience swelling, particularly at first when beginning treatment.
This is something patients can treat at home. Try using cold compresses and over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol. You should also stick to a softer diet for a short time. If pain and swelling persist or worsen, call The Schulhof Center.
Food Stuck In Braces
We all know what it feels like to get food stuck in our teeth. It’s annoying. If you wear braces, food can also get stuck in your hardware, which is equally problematic. Even if you follow the dietary guidelines, food can still get stuck, and it can cause damage to your braces or at the very least make you uncomfortable. So, how do you deal with it?
You could use a floss threader to position a thread of floss where you need it to dislodge the food particle. You could also use an oral irrigator to wash it away. If that fails, try carefully using a toothpick or interdental toothbrush. If you still cannot dislodge the food, make an appointment and we will take care of it for you.
Let’s say your irritation becomes a mouth sore. Treating mouth sores quickly and properly will prevent them from becoming infected. Topical anesthetic treatments such as Ora-Gel or Orabase can relieve mouth sores. In addition, rinsing with warm salt water or a hydrogen peroxide solution is also effective at relieving pain and keeping the sore clean.
Hardware damage is not something a patient can fix themselves. If you should suffer a sudden impact that damages your braces, call our office immediately to seek repairs. The damage could negatively affect your treatment or cause setbacks.
Wires Out Of Place
It’s not exactly damaged, but the archwire of your braces may come out of place and require readjustment. In some cases, patients can do this themselves by pushing it back into position with the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip. Just be sure to be gentle. If you cannot push it back into place, apply orthodontic wax to the wire to prevent irritation and schedule an appointment with The Schulhof Center.
An infection is an emergency situation because it can spread quickly to other parts of the body. Symptoms include abscess, fever, bleeding gums, swelling, and pain.
Is Swallowing Elastic Bands An Emergency Situation?
You might think that accidentally swallowing your elastic bands is an emergency situation. However, elastic bands are non-toxic and should pass through your digestive system normally. Let us know if you do swallow them and feel free to see your medical doctor if you have further concerns.
What Should I Do In Case I Need An Emergency Orthodontist In Bergen County?
The best thing patients can do in an emergency situation is to avoid panicking. Panicking only makes an emergency worse. If you experience any of the above types of emergencies, call our office. We will either instruct you to see us right away or help you handle the situation yourself at home over the phone. If your braces break, gather any pieces and bring them with you to The Schulhof Center and your emergency orthodontist in Bergen County.
How Can I Prepare For An Orthodontic Emergency?
Patients should prepare for potential emergencies by organizing a kit containing everything they might need during their braces treatment. This includes pain medication, compresses, oral anesthetics, orthodontic wax, Q-tips, pencils, floss threader, hydrogen peroxide, and tweezers so you always have these items available in one place should you need them. Have the number of your emergency orthodontist saved in your phone. You never know when it will come in handy.
Furthermore, be sure to follow dietary guidelines and treat your hardware carefully. Be sure to keep your hardware clean and wear a mouthguard during sports activities. These are good ways to prevent emergencies.
Contact An Emergency Orthodontist In Bergen County
The Schulhof Center is always ready to provide emergency orthodontic care to our patients. Dr. Adam Schulhof is an emergency orthodontist in Bergen County with many years of experience. If you have an emergency or want to learn more, call our office at 201-523-9450. We hope you never need emergency treatment, but we are here for you if you do. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!