Orthodontic Emergencies

We are glad you are part of our practice!

Below are PDF files of handouts that we make available to our patients. You can click on any of the handouts below to read online as well as to print out from your own computer. You may also request hard copies of these handouts the next time you are in our office.

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat, you can get a free download by clicking here.

PDF files download:
Instructions for Wearing Elastics
Dr. Yeh’s Secret Formula for Homemade Appliance Cleaner
Bionator Appliance InstructionsRetainer Instructions
Herbst Appliance Instructions
Sagittal & Transverse Appliance Instructions

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Emergency
Discomfort is usually due to a poking wire. Generally we can give advice on the phone and save you a trip to the office. If you can not reach us you may contact your family dentist to clip the wire.If there is a charge from the dentist, we will take care of payment.

Repairs
Loose braces are not an emergency, but if you are not sure, call us. If the brace comes loose within 24 hours of placement, the cause is generally adhesive failure; after 24 hours, however, loose braces are primarily due to the patient eating hard or sticky foods. If the patient has repeated loose braces, treatment will definitely be slowed down. This may lead to early removal of braces and then waiting for cooperation and maturity.

Patient Cooperation
Dr. Yeh is a real stickler about the patient accepting responsibility for treatment. Achieving a beautiful smile is a commitment comparable to turning out for a sport or carrying an extra class. We are the coaches; the patient is the player. We will guide you all the way, but you have to actually put the ball through the hoop. We want each patient to rise to his or her personal best. This requires us to coach our patients to develop responsibility, organization, and discipline.

Our goal is to provide you with a beautiful smile. This can only be accomplished if the braces stay attached to your teeth.We do not want to interfere with your nutritional intake, but we do ask that you watch the types of foods you eat. Some types of foods are capable of breaking your bands or brackets, bending your wires, and breaking the cement under your bands or brackets. All these things prolong treatment time.

A careful patient can eat a nutritionally balanced diet and do no harm to his braces. We hope that you will strive to be this type of patient.
Please avoid hard, sticky, chewy, and crunchy foods.

Tooth Brushing
We are serious about excellent oral hygiene. We are happy to demonstrate how to brush, floss and care for the appliances. We also provide written instructions and can prescribe a special protective toothpaste. The patient must see the family dentist every six months for a cleaning and fluoride treatment.

Rarely can a child under age 10 adequately clean his or her teeth. Children of this age, especially boys, simply do not have the fine motor skills needed to brush properly. Expecting children to develop the habit of regular brushing by themselves is a realistic and important goal. It is not fair, though, for us to expect perfection at this age. It is almost always necessary for these young patients to have a parent brush the child’s teeth once per day, perhaps at bedtime.

If oral hygiene is poor, decalcification (white marks) and eventually decay will result. If the home care is poor, we have no choice but to terminate treatment early.