Sports Safety: How to Prevent Orthodontic Emergencies

While playing sports is a great way to stay active and have fun, it’s important to remember to stay safe. At Pioneer Orthodontics, we’ve helped patients of all ages recover from their sports-related oral injuries and orthodontic emergencies. To prevent damaging your mouth during those soccer games or basketball playoffs, we’ve compiled a guide to answer some of the questions you may have about athletes with orthodontics.

What are the most common sports injuries that can occur in orthodontic patients?

Orthodontic patients who regularly play contact sports are susceptible to various injuries, ranging from minor to severe. Some of the most common sports injuries that we see at Pioneer Orthodontics are:

Broken Brackets or Bands

This is one of the more common orthodontic emergencies we see. When a bracket or band breaks, it can irritate the surrounding tissue. In addition, the broken bracket or band may sometimes cut into the cheek or gum. If this happens, don’t stress. It’s typically an easy fix, and Dr. Cserna has years of experience helping patients re-attach them.

Loose Wires

Another typical orthodontic emergency is a loose wire. If a wire comes loose, it can poke and prod the cheeks, gums, and tongue, causing irritation and pain. In some cases, a loose wire may even cause cuts in the mouth. Schedule an appointment at our Lincoln office to repair your appliance as soon as possible.

Cut Lips, Gums, or Cheeks

All it takes is one drifting elbow or foot to the face for a cut lip, gum, or cheek. And when you have braces, those cuts can be even more severe. Usually, rinsing with salt water will do the trick. However, more severe cuts may require emergency assistance. Call our office or visit the emergency room if the bleeding is severe and persists.

Damaged Teeth

While it’s not as common as the other injuries on this list, patients with braces can damage their teeth if they take a brutal hit to the mouth. Sometimes, the tooth may shift, crack or even break entirely. Contact us immediately, and Dr. Cserna will help you find a solution.

What should I do if an orthodontic emergency occurs?

While it’s always best to be prepared, sometimes accidents happen. Here are a few tips on how to handle some common orthodontic emergencies on the spot:

If you lose a bracket or band:

Try to find the piece and bring it to your next appointment. If you can’t find it, don’t worry – we can usually replace it without any problem. In the meantime, you can use orthodontic wax to help keep the sharp edges of your exposed wire from irritating your soft tissue.

If your wire comes out of its bracket:

Use a clean pencil eraser or a cotton swab to gently push the wire back into place. If you can’t get the wire back in place, cut it with scissors and bring the loose end to your next appointment.

What can I do to prevent a sports-related orthodontic injury from happening?

One of the best ways to prevent an orthodontic injury from happening is to wear a mouthguard at all times. Mouthguards are available at most sporting goods and drug stores, but we recommend getting one custom-made by Dr. Cserna. While generic store-bought mouthguard offer some protection, they still shift in your mouth, leaving you vulnerable to oral injury. Custom-made mouthguards are more comfortable to wear and provide a better fit, offering more protection.

Sports Safety: How to Prevent Orthodontic Emergencies

Protect your smile with Pioneer Orthodontics

While most orthodontic injuries are not severe, they can be painful and inconvenient. That’s why it’s essential to consult with an orthodontist as soon as an injury occurs. Call our Lincoln or York office to schedule an appointment to repair your appliance.

Protecting your appliance with a customized mouthguard is the best way to prevent orthodontic emergencies. Dr. Cserna uses cutting-edge technology to provide her clients with fitted mouthguards that gently hug their precious smiles during high-intensity sports. Schedule your free consultation to start protecting your smile today!