First Aid

What to do in case of emergency

Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.

Help is always just a phone call away

In the event that we are out of the office when you have an emergency, please call our office. We have a 24-hour "live" answering service for the convenience and comfort of our patients. If necessary, they will contact us after office hours so that we may immediately help you.

Loose brackets or bands

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Wire irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.

Lost separators

Sometimes patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad and warm salt water rinses may help reduce the soreness in your jaws.

How to Prevent Appliance Breakage

Loose brackets, bands or crowns and broken or bent wires, rods or tubes delay your treatment progress and lengthen treatment time.

The primary cause of appliance breaks is eating hard or sticky foods. Here are some examples:

  1. STICKY FOODS
    • Chewing gum (including Freedent)
    • Taffy
    • Licorice
    • Gummy Bears
    • Fruit Roll-Ups
    • Caramels
    • Tootsie Rolls
    • Jelly Beans
  2. HARD FOODS – anything as hard as a hard pretzel
    • Nuts and Popcorn
    • Ice or hard candy (you might forget and bite, causing breakage)
    • Meats (steaks, pork chops, chicken and turkey must be cut into tiny bites as you would for a 3 or 4-year-old child)
    • Pizza (eat only the soft, bite-sized pieces after cutting up a slice of pizza)
    • Carrots (may be eaten only if cooked or shredded)
    • Corn on the cob (must be cut off the cob)
    • Apples (unless they are cut into small pieces)

This is NOT a complete list of foods to avoid, but it will serve as examples of hard and sticky foods.

Mouth and appliance injuries also happen in contact sports. For our patients in sports, we recommend that an orthodontic mouthguard be worn to prevent mouth injuries and appliance breakage. At your request, we will provide the first orthodontic mouthguard at no charge. One guard should last your entire treatment.

Appliance breakage is not a problem for most of our patients. Typically, our average patient goes through two years of active treatment with less than three breakages. When breakage becomes excessive (more than six total loose or broken appliances), a fee is charged to repair the damage.

We know you want the best results from orthodontic treatment, and by working together, we can achieve that SUPER SMILE.