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Sticky Emergencies

The end of October or should I say “Halloween” is typically a busy time of year in orthodontic offices. We tend to see more orthodontic “emergency” appointments during the first week in November as a result of sticky candy consumption. Anything that causes your teeth to stick together when you chew it including toffee, caramels, peanut brittle, bubble gum will reek havoc on orthodontic appliances and braces.

Orthodontic emergencies include anything shifting or coming loose in the mouth that may or may not be associated with discomfort. It could be a brace that pops off the tooth and could be left dangling on the wire. If it is not getting in the way and not causing any discomfort, then that is the type of emergency does not require immediate attention. If a brace pops loose and is sore, or a wire is poking and cannot be repositioned, then this type of emergency should be seen sooner rather than later. We could also see an orthodontic appliance that is cemented into place come loose or even fall out of the mouth when candy gets embedded in and around the braces/attachments.

Hard candies are problematic as well. Biting into hard candies can easily dislodge braces and bend wires between the braces which could cause unwanted tooth movement and soreness. If any of these problems happen, call your orthodontist and they will instruct you how to manage the problem in the short term or check their website for instructions.

Remember, all candies are high in sugar content and sugar and teeth is not a great combination. Try to time candy consumption around meal time to minimize the time that sugar is on the teeth and rinse with water after eating your Halloween treats to flush the sugar out of the mouth. Finally, brushing before bedtime is most important because your saliva (which helps clean the teeth) is at its lowest level while sleeping. Have a fun Halloween and enjoy the treats responsibly!

Doctors Hill and Gross have the experience to help craft beautiful smiles for all manner of patients, both children and adults.


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