Managing non-emergency dental ailments
The brackets and wires of traditional braces are fragile and can break for a number of reasons. Broken wires and brackets can be sharp and uncomfortable but do not usually constitute an emergency. Reach out to your orthodontist or general dentist who can provide some advice for simple home treatment. This may include some tips to manage a broken bracket or broken wire at home.
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
Over 600 medications such as diuretics and anti-histamines, nutritional deficiencies, or natural hormonal changes can cause dry mouth. Keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum. Using a saliva substitute may also combat dryness and help keep your mouth more comfortable and provide relief from symptoms. Keep in mind that saliva substitutes are not approved for therapeutic benefit unless they have fluoride.
Drinking an excessive amount of acidic beverages such as carbonated beverages like soda, over-brushing your tongue and gums, and overusing your mouthwash can irritate mouth tissues. Try drinking fewer or less acidic drinks. Talk to your dentist about your oral hygiene habits and how to minimize irritations in your mouth.
Your daily oral hygiene routine should include brushing twice daily and flossing once daily. If your gums bleed while you’re flossing, this could be a sign of inflammation and gum diseases such as gingivitis or periodontitis. It may help to use a rinse to reduce bacteria or rinse with warm salt water if your gums are sore. If you have pain or continued bleeding, please contact your dentist.
Bleeding gums may be a key sign of gingivitis. The good news is that gingivitis is usually reversible with a good oral hygiene program. Treating gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) is as easy as one-two-three: brushing, flossing and professional check-ups and cleanings. Using mouthrinse in addition to proper brushing and flossing habits can also be effective at reducing gingivitis. Follow-up with your dentist for further information, concerns and a comprehensive oral evaluation when you’re able to resume with regular check-up visits and cleanings.
Plaque is composed of bacterial complexes that live in the mouth and stick to the teeth. Some types can cause tooth decay, while others cause gum disease. To keep plaque from building up, make sure you’re flossing to remove germs and food particles from between teeth. Mouthwash can also be effective at reducing plaque build-up. Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes with a fluoride toothpaste, and don’t forget to brush your tongue!
If you’re worried about plaque build-up, but unable to visit your dentist, there are disclosing tablets or stains you can purchase to show where plaque is located on your teeth and gums so you can make sure your removal techniques are working effectively.