Read the sections below by clicking on the title.

Oral Hygiene/Foods to Avoid
Common Problems
Invisalign Care
Emergency Info


Read the sections below by clicking on the title.

Oral Hygiene/Prevention
Emergency Info


Brushing with Braces

If you’re one of those people who is used to only brushing once or twice a day, we hope you change that habit once your braces are on. Infrequent brushing can cause plaque to build up and lead to cavities and scarring of your teeth. We recommend you brush your teeth four times each day to fend off those pesky food particles that want to gather on your teeth and braces. The recommended brushing times are: in the morning after breakfast; after lunch or right after school; after dinner; at bedtime.

Take Up Flossing

If you’re one of those people who is used to only brushing once or twice a day, we hope you change that habit once your braces are on. Infrequent brushing can cause plaque to build up and lead to cavities and scarring of your teeth. We recommend you brush your teeth four times each day to fend off those pesky food particles that want to gather on your teeth and braces. The recommended brushing times are: in the morning after breakfast; after lunch or right after school; after dinner; at bedtime.

Rinse with Mouthwash

To help ward off infection and reduce irritation that could develop from your braces, we recommend using a hydrogen peroxide antiseptic mouth rinse up to four times a day after you brush. A mouth rinse like this can also help any irritation caused by your braces or any cheek bites, canker sores or other gum tenderness.

Clean Deeper With an Interdental Toothbrush

You can clean hard-to-reach places between your teeth, under your archwires and around your braces by using an interdental brush. This type of brush can sometimes be an alternative to flossing when used gently to avoid any damage to your wires or gums.

Add Topical Fluoride

Besides daily brushing and flossing, you can get even more protection from tooth decay by applying a small amount of sodium fluoride before bed. This gel can kill bacteria and replenish the minerals in your tooth enamel that may have been removed by harmful acids. About a minute on your teeth will do the trick, the spit it out and don’t drink or eat for 30 minutes.

How to Clean Your Orthodontic Appliance

To keep your removable appliance clean and free of germs, food particles and plaque, you should brush and soak your appliance daily. You can use a denture-cleaning tablet in water to soak your appliance each day.

Foods to Avoid

Some of the foods on this list are common sense for braces — avoid hard foods, like raw vegetables or hard candies, as these can break brackets and wires, and avoid gummy, sticky foods, as these can get caught between brackets and cause damage to your braces. Equally important to avoid, though, are sugary foods. These interact with naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth to form acids that eat away at tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay and cavities. Also avoid nail biting, pencil or pen chewing, and chewing on any foreign objects — all of these can damage your braces.



Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.


If you have missing teeth or if your teeth have gaps between them, APDO can help.


If you have missing teeth or if your teeth have gaps between them, APDO can help.


Like protrusion, an overbite can cause the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth but because the upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth.


When your lower jaw protrudes out from your upper jaw, lower teeth will close in front of your upper teeth causing both cosmetic and physical challenges.

Open Bite

If you have an open bite, you may have difficulty chewing your food because the upper and lower front teeth don’t overlap. This can lead to several unwanted habits such as tongue thrusting.

Mismatched Dental Midlines

Off-center teeth means the line between your two upper front teeth and your two lower front teeth are not aligned.



Rinse Every Time

Any time you take your aligners out of your mouth, rinse them thoroughly under running water. This will rinse away bacteria, saliva, and food particles.

Soak Regularly

Proper care isn't just about clean aligners — your teeth need to stay clean, too! Be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent build up of plaque and bacteria under the aligners.

Clean Your Teeth

Proper care isn't just about clean aligners — your teeth need to stay clean, too! Be sure to brush and floss your teeth regularly to prevent build up of plaque and bacteria under the aligners.

Use Clear, Anti-Bacterial Soft Soap

This is a great way to keep your aligners free of bacteria and plaque.

Brush Carefully

Ideally, you want to brush them every time you take them out or put them back in — but be careful, as overzealous brushing can leave visible marks and scratches.


Eat or Drink

Foods and colored drinks can stain your aligners and leave an unpleasant smell, so stick with water while you're wearing them.

Use Toothpaste

Toothpaste is great for your teeth, but it can harm your aligners. When you brush them, do so gently and without paste.

Use Scented or Colored Soap

Using anything but clear soap with aligners can cause them to stain.

Traveling With Invisalign

While the removability of Invisalign makes them hugely convenient, it can also cause problems - particularly when traveling. It's all too easy to misplace them, break them, or even leave them in another country when traveling. If you'll be traveling with Invisalign, here are some helpful tips for taking care of them on the go:

Keep a Supply

In general, you should carry at least three pairs of aligners with you when you travel — your current set, your previous set, and your next set. If you'll be out of town for more than a few weeks, we recommend taking more.

Extra Case

It's easy to lose a case, so we always recommend bringing a backup just in case.

Rinse When Necessary

While it's best to brush them every time you take them out or put them back in, at a restaurant in another country, this may not be practical. At a minimum, you can rinse out your mouth and aligners before putting them back in, then brush once you're back in your room.


1. Is it required that my family dentist schedule my appointment with the orthodontist?

No, it is not. Many of our patients are referred by their family dentist, yet many other patients take the initiative to schedule an examination themselves.

2. At what age should I schedule an appointment for an orthodontic screening?

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends an orthodontic screening at age 7. By this age, several permanent teeth in most children have erupted, allowing us to effectively evaluate your orthodontic condition.

3. Will my teeth straighten out as they grow?

No, they will not. The space available for the front teeth does not increase as you grow. In most people, after the permanent molars erupt, the space available for the front teeth decreases with age.

4. How do I schedule an appointment for an initial exam?

If you or your child can potentially benefit from orthodontic treatment, simply call our office, send us an e-mail or fill out our appointment request form online. We will be happy to schedule an appointment for you. When you call to schedule your appointment, our front office staff will request some basic information from you.

5. What will happen at the initial examination appointment?

Upon arriving, each patient and parent will be seen by the staff and doctor who will acclimate you to our office and prepare for the initial exam. We will take the necessary photographs and X-rays to allow us to make a proper diagnosis. The doctor will then complete a brief, but thorough, exam.

6. What will I learn from the initial examination?

There are five essential questions that we will cover during the initial examination:

  • Is there an orthodontic problem, and if so, what is it?
  • What must be done to correct the problem?
  • Will any teeth need to be removed?
  • How long will the treatment take to complete?
  • How much will the treatment cost?

7. Will I need to have teeth extracted for braces?

Removing teeth is sometimes required to achieve the best orthodontic result. Straight teeth and a balanced facial profile are the goal of orthodontics. However, because new technology has provided advanced orthodontic procedures, removing teeth is not always necessary for orthodontic treatment.

8. How long will it take to complete treatment?

Treatment time obviously depends on each patient's specific orthodontic problem. In general, treatment times range from 8 to 30 months. The "average" time frame a person is in braces is approximately 18–24 months.

9. How much will braces cost? Are financing options available? How does my insurance work?

It is impossible to give an exact cost for treatment until we have examined you. We will cover the exact cost and financial options during the initial examination. We have several financing options available to accommodate your needs, and we will review these with you. We will also review your insurance policy and help to maximize your benefit and file your claims.

10. How often will I have appointments?

Appointments are scheduled according to each patient's needs. Most patients in braces will be seen every five to 10 weeks. If there are specific situations that require more frequent monitoring, we will schedule appointments accordingly.

11. Can I schedule all of my appointments after school?

Unfortunately, we cannot schedule all appointments for students during after-school hours. However, because most appointments are scheduled five to 10 weeks apart, most patients will miss minimal school due to their orthodontic treatments. We will, however, make a sincere effort to meet your scheduling needs.

12. Can I drop my child off for an appointment?

Yes. We understand your busy schedule, and we are happy to help you make the most of your time. On some occasions, we may request to speak with a parent when they return, so we ask that parents check in with their patient manager before dropping off their child.

13. Do braces hurt?

Generally, braces do not "hurt." After certain visits, teeth may be sore for a few days. In these situations, pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol will ease the discomfort. However, after most visits, patients do not feel any soreness at all! We often remind our patients, “It does not have to hurt to work!”

14. Can I return to school the day I receive my braces?

Yes. There is no reason to miss school because of an orthodontic appointment.

15. Do you give shots?

No. Shots are not necessary in orthodontic treatment.

16. Do you use recycled braces?

Absolutely not! It is our belief that each patient should be provided with their own.

17. Can I still play sports?

Yes. We recommend a mouth guard for all sports.

18. Do I need to see my family dentist while in braces?

Yes! Regular checkups with your family dentist are important while in braces. Your family dentist will determine the intervals between cleaning appointments while you are in braces.

19. Are there foods I cannot eat while I have braces?

Yes. Once treatment begins, we will explain the complete instructions and provide a comprehensive list of foods to avoid. Some of those foods include: ice, hard candy, raw vegetables and all sticky foods (i.e., caramel and taffy). You can avoid most emergency appointments to repair broken or damaged braces by carefully following our instructions.

20. How often should I brush my teeth while in braces?

Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day — after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

21. What is an emergency appointment? How are those handled?

If your braces are causing extreme pain or if something breaks, you should call our office. In most cases, we can address these issues over the telephone. If you require an emergency appointment, we will set aside time for you.

22. Can orthodontic correction occur while a child has baby teeth?

Yes. Some orthodontic problems are significant enough to require early intervention. However, if a patient is not yet ready for treatment, we will follow that patient's growth and development until the time is right for treatment to begin.Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day — after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

23. What is Phase One (early) treatment?

Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment lasts about 16–21 months. The primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant problems to prevent them from becoming more severe and to improve self-esteem and self-image.Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day — after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

24. Will my child need full braces if they had Phase One treatment?

It is best to assume that your child will need full braces even after Phase One treatment. The period following Phase One treatment is called the "resting period," during which growth and tooth eruption are closely monitored. Throughout this period, parents and patients will be kept informed of future treatment recommendations.Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day — after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

25. Will my child need an expander?

At the completion of the initial examination, we will determine whether a patient will need an expander.Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day — after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

26. Is it too late to have braces if I am already an adult?

A surprising percentage of our patients are adults. In fact, 25 percent of all orthodontic patients are adults. Health, happiness and self-esteem are vitally important to adults. No patient is "too old" to wear braces!Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day — after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

27. Can I wear braces even though I have crowns and missing teeth?

Yes. A tooth with a crown will move just like a tooth with a simple filling. When teeth are missing, orthodontic treatment will aid in the alignment of the remaining teeth.Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day — after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

28. Why should I choose an orthodontic specialist?

Teeth, and sometimes entire facial structures, are permanently changed by orthodontic treatment. It is important that the treatment be appropriate and properly completed. Orthodontic specialists have extensive and specialized training that enables them to provide their patients with professional, personalized treatments.Patients should brush their teeth at least four times each day — after each meal and before going to bed. We will show each patient how to floss their teeth with braces and may also provide a prescription for a special fluoride, if necessary.

29. How long do I have to wear my retainers once my braces are off?

Wear your removable retainer full time as instructed. For most patients this is only for 1 month. Once you are given permission to switch to nighttime only wear of your removable retainers, you need to wear them while you sleep FOREVER. We provide a lifetime Retainer Guarantee, which you can read all about here


What Should I Do in an Orthodontic Emergency?

Thankfully, true orthodontic emergencies are exceedingly rare — but they can happen. We can handle most problems over a phone call, but if you have a more serious or pressing issue, we will schedule an emergency appointment ASAP and get you back on track to your new smile. While emergencies can range from minor issues to serious problems, we're here to help you no matter what happens, and the first step is always to call our office.

Minor Orthodontic Problems

The vast majority of problems with your orthodontic treatment will be minor, and many can be handled entirely over the phone. Still, even a minor problem can cause discomfort or impair your treatment. Even for minor issues, you should still call our office to determine how best to handle the issue. Any of the following problems qualify as a minor orthodontic emergency:

  • Loose or Broken Braces: If a wire, bracket, or band in your braces breaks or loosens, it's important to take care of it right away. If the piece is still attached to your braces, leave it in place and avoid touching it until your repair appointment. If it falls out of your mouth, pick it up and bring it with you to your emergency appointment. If any part of your braces is causing you discomfort, you can cover them with a piece of dental wax until we make repairs.
  • Discomfort from Pointy Archwires, Ties, or Brackets: Sometimes, the archwire — the thin, springy metal wire running through your braces — can shift position as your teeth move and begin to poke your mouth. If this happens, try using a clean pencil eraser, Q-tip, or a sterilized pair of tweezers to move it to a more comfortable position. If that doesn't work, try covering the area with dental wax. As a last resort for serious discomfort, you can clip the wire with a sterilized pair of nail clippers, but please call us before attempting this.
  • Toothaches or Loose Teeth: As your braces move your teeth, you may experience minor discomfort or soreness in your teeth or gums. This is normal — in fact, it shows that your braces are working. Most discomfort is very mild and fades within a few days. For help managing the discomfort, try using a warm salt water rinse or over the counter painkillers like Tylenol. However, if the pain is beyond what you can handle or you notice the pain getting worse or not going away, it could be a more serious issue and we encourage you to contact us right away.

What Counts as a Major Orthodontic Emergency?

Serious orthodontic emergencies are rare, and truly only occur if they have the possibility of damaging your teeth, jaws, or mouth. The main major orthodontic emergencies include:

  • An injury or other trauma to the mouth, teeth, or the face
  • Swollen or infected gums or any other infection or serious swelling in the face
  • Severe, unmanageable pain in the mouth or face

If you experience any of these problems, don't wait. Call us immediately at 480-556-0600. We'll talk with you to better understand the situation and schedule an emergency appointment. If you can't reach us, or you feel that you're in immediate danger, skip the call and head straight to the emergency room. Then, call us to tell us what happened when you feel safe.

Oral Hygiene/Prevention

How to Your Brush Teeth Properly

Brushing is the foundation of oral hygiene, but it can present a bit of difficulty for children. For that reason, we recommend helping your child brush their teeth until around age 8.

  1. To start, we recommend brushing your child's teeth for 1 minute without toothpaste, as this will help you see into your child's mouth and spot any problem areas.
  2. Next, use fluoridated toothpaste and brush for one more minute. Use a tiny shmear of toothpaste for children aged 1–2, then use a pea-sized amount of toothpaste after your child turns 2.
  3. Both manual and electric toothbrushes are effective at removing bacteria, but we recommend the Gum Crayola spin brush

How to Floss Teeth

Equally important to brushing is flossing, as only flossing can clean the areas between the teeth. You should start flossing your child's teeth as soon as the spaces between the teeth are too narrow to clean with a toothbrush, which usually occurs around ages 3–4. If your child is wearing braces or has difficulty flossing and is over age 6, there's a Waterpik oral irrigator designed specifically for children that can help.


How to Stop Thumb & Finger Sucking

The number one thing to understand is that all of the strategy in the world won't work unless your child wants to stop sucking their thumb or finger. There is no magic solution, silver bullet, or “simple trick” that will break a child’s finger habit for them! Breaking any habit requires willingness and dedication. Your child needs to be at a point emotionally and mentally where they are ready to participate in a habit breaking process. Therefore, your first priority is to get them to want to stop.

Make Them Think It's Their Idea. Nagging your thumb sucker is frustrating for both of you. Instead, encourage him or her to realize how much she has grown and changed. Remind them of the “baby” things they no longer do. Point out that there is no longer a use for diapers, bottles, or high chairs. Let them know how proud you are of that. Ask what else they think they will give up as they grow older. If he or she doesn't say thumb sucking, then you can gently suggest it.

Letting your child know that you notice their positive actions are good too. "Hey, I noticed you didn't suck your thumb on the drive back from the grocery store. Great job — that is really big boy behavior! Would you like a sticker?" One of the most important parts of this process is to ground everything in positivity — positive reinforcement is the most effective way to change behavior.

Once your child has decided they are ready to quit the habit, you can step in as their partner: you're there to help your child succeed. You will not be the evil parent forcing your will upon them — and maintaining this "partner" mindset will make them much more open to trying new tools or programs to help them stop.


Sedation dentistry is the practice of using sedatives during dental treatment in order to help the patient relax, ease anxiety, and keep calm during their treatment. We offer a variety of different types of sedatives, ranging from simple nitrous oxide (commonly called "laughing gas") to general anesthetics that put patients fully to sleep. We'll evaluate your child individually to determine what the best course of sedatives is for a safe, effective treatment.

Types of Sedatives

Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide is a mild sedative delivered as a gas through an oxygen mask. Patients usually remain awake for treatment and can talk to their dentist throughout the process. It's also called laughing gas for a reason — you may notice your child get giggly or start telling stories, and occasionally fall asleep. Once we complete the treatment, we'll turn the gas off, and the effects will wear off almost immediately. Side effects are very rare, but some patients may feel nauseous or have constipation.

Oral Sedation

This is another easy technique where your child will drink their prescribed medication. We offer a variety of oral sedatives, and we'll select the best one for your child based on their overall health, the severity of their anxiety, and how large of a dental procedure they need. Medications administered orally can take up to an hour to take effect and are usually mild — your child will probably relax and get a bit drowsy, potentially falling into a light sleep that they can be easily roused from. Oral sedation is not intended to make them unconscious or unresponsive. Very rarely, children may have an opposite reaction like crying or agitation.

General Anesthesia and Semi-Conscious Sedation

This procedure will draw your child into a deep sleep. It's often the easiest on the child, and is safe and effective when administered by one of our highly trained, highly accredited professional dental anesthesiologists. The anesthesiologist will contact you prior to the appointment to answer any questions you may have and will take all of your child's information into consideration to develop a tailored anesthesia plan. In cooperation with our anesthesiologists, we look forward to providing excellent care for your child.


Why should my child see a pediatric dentist instead of our regular family dentist?

Pediatric dentistry is a dental specialty that focuses on the oral health of young people. Following dental school, a pediatric dentist has two to three years additional specialty training in the unique needs of infants, children and adolescents, including those with special health needs.

How should I clean my baby's teeth?

A toothbrush with soft bristles and a small head, especially one designed for infants, is the best choice for infants. Brushing at least once a day, at bedtime, will remove plaque bacteria that can lead to decay.

At what age should my child have his/her first dental visit?

"First visit by first birthday" is the general rule. To prevent dental problems, your child should see a pediatric dentist when the first tooth appears, usually between 6 and 12 months of age, certainly no later than his/her first birthday.

What is baby bottle tooth decay, and how can I prevent it?

Baby bottle tooth decay is a pattern of rapid decay associated with prolonged nursing. It happens when a child goes to sleep while breast-feeding and/or bottle-feeding. During sleep, the flow of saliva is reduced and the natural self-cleansing action of the mouth is diminished. Avoid nursing children to sleep or putting anything other than water in their bedtime bottle. Encourage your child to drink from a cup as they approach their first birthday. He/she should be weaned from the bottle at 12–14 months of age.

Can thumbsucking be harmful for my child's teeth?

Thumb and pacifier sucking habits that go on for a long period of time can create crowded, crooked teeth or bite problems. If they are still sucking their thumbs or fingers when the permanent teeth arrive, a mouth appliance may be recommended by your pediatric dentist. Most children stop these habits on their own.

What are dental sealants, and how do they work?

Sealants are clear or shaded plastic applied to the teeth to help keep them cavity-free. Sealants fill in the grooved and pitted surfaces of the teeth, which are hard to clean, and shut out food particles that could get caught, causing cavities. Fast and comfortable to apply, sealants can effectively protect teeth for many years.

When should my child start using toothpaste?

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends you clean your child's teeth with water and a soft bristled toothbrush up to age 1. After 1 year of age, parents may use a small smear of fluoridated toothpaste on a soft bristled toothbrush to clean their child's teeth. A pea-sized amount of toothpaste may be used after age 2 and parents should supervise brushing to ensure children do not swallow excess toothpaste. See photos under the oral hygiene category.

If my child gets a toothache, what should I do?

To comfort your child, rinse his/her mouth with warm salt water and apply a cold compress or ice wrapped in a cloth on your child's face if it is swollen. Do not put heat or aspirin on the sore area, but you may give the child acetaminophen for pain. See us as soon as possible.

Is my child getting enough fluoride?

Fluoride has been shown to dramatically decrease a person's chances of getting cavities by making teeth stronger. Fluoride in the drinking water is the best and easiest way to get it, but to make sure your child is getting enough fluoride, have your pediatric dentist evaluate the fluoride level of your child's primary source of water. If your child is not getting enough fluoride internally through water (especially in communities where the water district does not fluoridate the water or if your child drinks bottled water without fluoride), your pediatric dentist may prescribe fluoride supplements.

How safe are dental X-rays?

With contemporary safeguards, such as lead aprons and high-speed film, the amount of radiation received in a dental X-ray examination is extremely small. Even though there is very little risk, pediatric dentists are particularly careful to minimize the exposure of child patients to radiation. In fact, dental X-rays represent a far smaller risk than an undetected and untreated dental problem.

My child plays sports. How should I protect my child's teeth?

A mouth guard should be a top priority on your child's list of sports equipment. Athletic mouth protectors, or mouth guards, are made of soft plastic and fit comfortably to the shape of the upper teeth. They protect a child's teeth, lips, cheeks and gums from sports-related injuries. Any mouth guard works better than no mouth guard, but a custom-fitted mouth guard fitted by our doctor is your child's best protection against sports-related injuries.

When do the first teeth start to erupt?

At about 6 months, the two lower front teeth (central incisors) will erupt, followed shortly by the two upper central incisors. The remainder of the baby teeth appear during the next 18 to 24 months but not necessarily in an orderly sequence from front to back. At 2 to 3 years, all of these 20 primary teeth should be present.

What should I do if my child knocks out a permanent tooth?

First of all, remain calm. If possible, find the tooth and hold it by the crown rather than the root. Replace the tooth in the socket and hold it there with clean gauze or a washcloth. If you can't put the tooth back in the socket, place the tooth in a clean container with milk and take your child and the glass immediately to the pediatric dentist. The faster you act, the better your chances of saving the tooth.

How can I help my child through the teething stage?

Sore gums when teeth erupt are part of the normal eruption process. The discomfort is eased for some children by use of a teething biscuit, a piece of toast or a frozen teething ring. Your pharmacy should also have medications that can be rubbed on the gums to reduce the discomfort.

I noticed a space between my child's two upper front teeth. Is this cause for concern?

Usually, the space will close in the next few years as the other front teeth erupt. We can determine whether there is cause for concern.

If my child gets a cavity in a baby tooth, should it still be filled?

Primary, or "baby," teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt. Some of them are necessary until a child is 12 years old or longer. Pain, infection of the gums and jaws, impairment of general health and premature loss of teeth are just a few of the problems that can happen when baby teeth are neglected. Also, because tooth decay is really an infection and will spread, decay on baby teeth can cause decay on permanent teeth. Proper care of baby teeth is instrumental in enhancing the health of your child.

What causes tooth decay?

Four things are necessary for cavities to form — a tooth, bacteria, sugars or other carbohydrates and time. Dental plaque is a thin, sticky, colorless deposit of bacteria that constantly forms on everyone's teeth. When you eat, the sugars in your food cause the bacteria in plaque to produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. With time and repeated acid attacks, the enamel breaks down and a cavity forms.


Many dental-related pains may seem like emergencies; however, there are some that can be taken care of at home. Below are a few of the most common dental challenges our pediatric dentists hear about and what you can do to address them. As always, we are here if you need us and, in some cases, we hope you’ll contact us immediately for an appointment at one of our Scottsdale locations.

1. Knocked Out Permanent Tooth

Knocking out a permanent tooth is serious for your child and quick reaction and timing is critical. Make sure you retrieve the tooth, and only hold it by the crown or top and not the root end. You should rinse off the tooth but don’t try to clean it and don’t handle it more than necessary. Next, reinsert the tooth in the socket and hold it in place using a clean piece of gauze or cloth. If reinserting the tooth isn’t possible, put it in a cup of milk or water and see us immediately for an appointment with Drs. Anfinson, Wilson, Goldstein or Eardley.

2. Broken Tooth

If your child accidentally breaks a tooth, quickly rinse the mouth with warm water and put a cold compress over the injury to relieve swelling and pain. Retrieve any pieces of the broken tooth, if you can and seek immediate dental attention.

3. Possible Broken Jaw

If your child has injured his or her jaw or you think they may have broken it, tie the mouth closed with a towel, tie or handkerchief and go immediately to the nearest emergency room.

4. Toothache

If your child complains of a toothache, our doctors recommend relieving the pain with acetaminophen, NOT aspirin. It’s also important to keep the area around the painful tooth clean by rinsing with warm salt water. If the face starts to swell, you can use a cold compress to relieve the swelling. Please contact our office for an appointment with Drs. Anfinson, Wilson, Goldstein or Eardley as quickly as possible.

5. Bleeding After a Baby Tooth Falls Out

Baby teeth falling out is a natural occurrence and usually exciting if the Tooth Fairy visits your home. However, if your child incurs excessive bleeding after a baby tooth falls out, put tight pressure on the empty cavity with a folded piece of sterile gauze and have your child bite down on the gauze for 15 minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, see a dentist right away.

6. Cut or Bitten Tongue, Lip or Cheek

Children love to play and sometimes accidents may happen that result in them biting or cutting their tongue, lip or cheek. If these injuries bleed, use sterile gauze or a clean cloth to apply firm, but gentle, pressure to the wound. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 15 minutes of pressure, you should travel to the nearest emergency room. You can also apply ice to any areas of the face or mouth that bruise.

7. Cold or Canker Sores

Your child will likely get a cold or canker sore at sometime. While these can be painful, they are not usually cause for emergency concern. Use over-the-counter medications to provide relief from pain and agitation. If the sores linger or recur, give us a call.

8. Broken Braces and Wires

It’s possible that you may eat something or have an injury that will cause your braces to break or dislodge. If this happens, remember to only take out the broken brace or wire if it comes out easily. Never try to pull out part of your braces if it is painful to remove or stuck. Instead, cover any sharp edges with wax, cotton balls, gauze or chewing gum. DO NOT try to remove any wires caught in the gums, cheek or tongue; see a dentist right away. For loose or broken braces or wires that don’t cause any pain, an emergency trip to the dentist is not usually required. If you’re unsure, please give our office a call.

© 2024. All rights reserved. | Affiliated Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics • AZ Specialty Dental Services, LLC - Jeffrey Burg, DDS | Hosted by Specialty Dental Brands™.

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