It is not something you hear often, and we find it hilarious and unbelievable. However, swallowing your braces accidentally can be a concern that might happen when people start undergoing an orthodontic treatment.
Even so, the incident rate of swallowing your braces is rare. However, it is enough to make those who are having braces get a little paranoid about accidentally swallowing a piece of their braces.
Thus, it is important to know how to handle your braces.
There are numerous instances why the brackets of your braces or the wires break off. Do not attempt to adjust or loosen the bracket on your own, you might knock it lose and end up swallowing the braces before you know it. There are also occasions that brackets can be mishandled. An example of this is, you are having your braces adjusted or replaced.
Accidental swallowing can cause dental trauma. However, according to an expert dentist, swallowing a braces bracket or wire is not that serious in most cases, and as long as the braces bracket or wire does not dislodge into the lungs. The expert dentist discussed that in most cases, the metal can move through the body and the human gastrointestinal tract has enough gastric acid to dissolve a small piece of metal within minutes. The gastrointestinal tract has a pH level of 1.5 to 4.0, this is the section of the body where the pre-digestion happens. The hydrochloric acid and pepsin are used by the stomach to break down the metal, just like it is used to break down foods.
Do not worry! Anything that is left will be excreted in a day or after swallowing. Experts also give an advice on ingesting foods that are high in fiber to help elimination easier.
What to do when accidental swallowing happens to you? Immediately seek help.
If you have swallowed a bracket, wire, or rubber band and you start experiencing the difficulty of breathing or shortness of breath, the object might have dislodged or pierced in your lungs. Seek immediate medical attention, this is a serious case.
If you are experiencing stomach pain or discomfort after accidentally swallowing your bracket, wire, or rubber band, consult a doctor. The discomfort may mean that the object is caught in your digestive tract, and it might need a medical intervention.
What will be the procedures if you have experienced accidental swallowing?
An x-ray examination will be performed, after having the results, the doctor will decide what the appropriate procedure or action should be carried out in removing the object.
The doctor will notify your orthodontist of the situation, after the removal of the items, you have to visit your orthodontist. The orthodontist will replace the bracket, wire, or rubber band that was removed.
Surgery is not necessary for accidental swallowing cases, although one percent of the cases need one. Moreover, if a surgery is recommended, the procedure will not cause any permanent damage to the body.
But take note, the risk for accidental swallowing does not only pertain to braces. There are patients who swallowed temporary crowns, metal fillings, and other dental related tools.