Emergency Instructions

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are always available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you are unable to take care of yourself.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many issues yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office.

Poking Wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down. You can also try to dry the area and place wax to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave in place and put wax on it. However, if the bracket or band has come completely out, save in a baggie and bring to your next scheduled appointment.

Loose Wire

Using a tweezer, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help you can use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Loose Appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the part of the appliance that is bothering you. If the appliance is loose please contact our office as soon as possible.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel some general soreness in mouth. Your teeth may also be tender to biting pressure for three to five days. This soreness can be relieved with a warm saltwater mouthrinse. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt to eight ounces of warm water. Rinse mouth vigorously. Placing Brace Relief to the affected area may also help. A tube of Brace Relief is given to you on the day your braces are placed. Similar products (ie. Orabase or Orajel) can be found a your local pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever over the counter medication used for a headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for several days. They will toughen as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can place wax on the braces to lessen this discomfort.

No-No List


ICE…A thousand times NO! Ice will totally destroy your braces.

PIZZA CRUST…The hard crust can bend wires.

HARD PRETZELS …Bends wires, loosens bands and knocks off brackets.

DORITOS, TACOS, TOSTITOS, CHEETOS, FRITOS…Will form a hard ball and break your braces.

CARAMEL CANDY, BUBBLE GUM…Sticky goo which pulls off wires and fees the bacteria in your mouth.

HARD ROLLS, BAGELS, BONES…Bends the wire and knocks off brackets.

BEEF JERKY or SLIM JIMS…Tough as nail s.

SUCKERS…You might weaken and bite down breaking brackets.

NUTS…No nuts of any kind!

RIBS…Knocks off brackets.

PENS and PENCILS…Everyone’s favorite exam time food! Breaks Everything!

POPCORN…The little shells get between the gum and the band- hurts like crazy!!

RAW CARROTS…Hard as rocks.

CORN ON THE COB…Knocks off brackets.

* Eating these foods will loosen the braces, but you may not discover the problem until hours or days later…Surprise! Loose band s, broken wires, and detached brackets cause a longer treatment time.

Spacer Information

To make it easier to place your braces or fixed appliances, we need to make space between your teeth…so we place spacers.

Spacers are small elastics or springs that are placed between certain teeth to slightly move them apart so the bands can be placed more comfortably.

Spacers can cause slight temporary soreness but it usually subsides in a couple of days. To help with soreness, rinse your mouth with warm salt water, take Tylenol or Ibuprofen and even your usual chewing can help!

You must avoid chewy/sticky foods such as gum or sticky candy.

Please Do Not Floss where the spacers are places. Flossing could cause the spacer to become dislodged and lost.

If a spacer is lost it will need to be replaced. Usually the day before your next appointment. Please call our office and we will help you decide when to come by and have it replaced.



Your upper retainer has been made especially for you. It has been molded to fit your teeth and hold them in position.
Wear it all the time during the first two weeks, except when you eat and brush your teeth. After two weeks, wear it every night. You may occasionally experience some soreness with your teeth. Hang in there and KEEP WEARING it.


Avoid biting into hard or sticky foods, as the retainer wire can be dislodged.

If it comes loose, call our office for an appointment for it to be rebounded. Please DO NOT
throw it away! Bring it with you to your appointment.


Clean it with a toothbrush when you brush your teeth. It is also good to soak it weekly in denture cleanser.

Keep it away from heat, pets and small children. When it is not in your mouth, it should be in it’s case.


Failure to wear your retainer may result in tooth movement. As this retainer cannot be adjusted, it will be necessary to make a new one. To avoid the additional expense of a new retainer, wear it faithfully. If the retainer is lost or damaged, please contact our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to have a replacement made. Any additional cost will be discussed with you at that appointment.