Problems with Braces and Injury to the Face

Jan 09 2012

Problems with Braces and Injury to the Face

Getting that Hollywood smile isn’t always smooth. Braces can and do make problems at times.

Problems with Braces and Retainers

Sometimes, the wire in braces causes irritation for your child.  Typically, the first action would be to cover up the source of the irritation and allowing the gums and lips a chance to heal. A parent can cover the pokey end of the wire with a small piece of beeswax, gauze or cotton ball. This may buy you some time until you can visit your provider to help with the annoying wire. You should call your doctor as soon as possible if the wiring or brackets becomes loose or falls out.  Keep any pieces with you, and bring them to your appointment.

Bitten Lip or Tongue

Ouchies do happen. To make sure the area of the cut does not trap food or debris, rinse your child’s mouth out.  Then consider placing ice or a cold pack on the outside, near the area of injury to minimize any swelling.  If bleeding continues, a stitch or some other care may be needed. Take your child to the nearest pediatric dentist (or if not available) the nearest emergency room.

Lacerations and Cuts

Cuts on a child’s face, lips, or chin as well as on the inner tissues of your child’s mouth should be taken seriously. Controlling bleeding, prevention of infection, and minimizing tissue scarring during healing may require a doctor’s intervention.

Impact to Jaw

In cases of severe trauma, the possibility of a broke jaw needs to be entertained. Specially in children, the jaw bone is very fragile. Evaluation after impact to the face should also include the chin, zygoma, and bones around the eyes.

If a jaw is deemed broken, surgery may be required. The jaw may need to be kept shut while it heals using tiny wires, rubber bands, metal braces, plates, and or screws to stabilize the jaw and allow full healing.

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