It’s that time again! Back to back functions, shopping and wrapping presents, baking, cleaning and the list goes on.
The last thing that you need is for a malfunction to occur with a family member’s Orthodontics Appliance.
Broken appliances can cause extra stress when we already have additional demands on our time.
With a small amount of thought and consideration, breakages can be avoided. Plan alternative food and snack options for the Orthodontic patient in your family. Sticky, chewy or hard foods will send that person into treacherous territory. Substitute soft treats, perhaps fruit sorbets instead of candy canes and enjoy the roast pork but remove the hard crackle.
Casual and family oriented sports are often a seasonal highlight. If there is any risk of a knock to the mouth then the Orthodontic patient should always wear a mouthguard even for these casual activities. The absolute last place you want to visit at this time of the year is the hospital emergency room with damage to teeth and appliances.
What to do then in the event that an appliance becomes loose or broken over the Festive Season? In most cases, it the one time where it is absolutely reasonable to leave the breakage until normal practice operations resume. Damaged brackets are a good example of the type of repair which can be temporarily delayed for a week or so during this time. Mount Lawley Orthodontics offers our usual opening hours from Monday 4 January, early in the new year. From this date you can give our Administrative team a call to discuss what has occurred. An appropriate visit can then be established to get the patient back on track.
Historically families have managed to trim or smooth breakages themselves using all types of household tools such as nail scissors, clippers, files and even the shed pliers. Officially we cannot advocate trimming away the offending portion of a damaged appliance due to the risk of injury.
Instead, in most circumstances prior to the new year you can utilise your Orthodontic wax and or numbing gel products such as Bonjella (available from the Pharmacy) to temporarily prevent rubbing or discomfort.
The only time that you should seek outside care with a broken appliance during the Festive break is if it is causing extreme pain or discomfort. The most common time this might occur is in a situation of trauma where a blow to the face causes damage to the teeth, gums and or appliance. In this case you should seek emergency room care.
Some General Dentists offer emergency services over the Festive Season. A family may choose to visit with them to triage broken appliances. This should only be done in the most urgent of circumstances where the breakage is absolutely unbearable. Emergency care can be also be expensive.
In summary, Prevention is always better then the solution at this time of the year. With a little care and sensible choices the risk of broken appliances can hopefully be avoided making everyone’s Holiday relaxing and enjoyable!
The image below illustrates some of the types of breakages that can occur and some of the temporary first aid solutions that can be utilised to manage them.