Braces & Invisalign School Survival Guide

We’re about a month into the 2016 school year, but be honest – you’re still a *little* excited to be back, right? New friends, Friday night football, and just the slightest hint of Fall in the air (emphasis on slightest since it’s still 90 degrees outside here in Memphis). You’ve grown accustomed to waking up at 6 in the morning, you’ve aced your first round of tests, you’ve learned how to balance 2 sports and 3 extracurriculars, and hopefully, in midst of all of this busyness – you haven’t forgotten to take care of your braces or Invisalign! Here’s what you’ll need to keep your teeth on the honor roll:

1. Your Phone

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In case of an orthodontic emergency, having our number stored in your contacts can cut down on the stress you’re feeling in the moment. Most of the time, you’ll be able to wait until you’re able to come in for a follow-up appointment, but we can also help you over the phone. Sometimes, school nurses can help if you need to be seen quickly.

Your phone’s camera is good for more than cute selfies, too! If you can take a photo of the problem, using flash, it will help us identify the issue much more quickly and accurately.

2. Orthodontic Wax or Gishy Goo


Gishy Goo is a silicone-based product that acts like orthodontic wax. Both of these are great quick, temporary fixes for several common appliance issues, such as protruding wires, loose brackets, and mouth irritation.

3. Emergency Care Locker Kit

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Did you know you can fix many appliance issues yourself with just a few everyday tools? Things like:

Mouth Irritation: If a bracket or wire is loose and causing irritation or pain to your lips or cheeks, you can slap some wax on it! Make sure that the bracket or wire is very dry first, then pinch off a pea-sized piece of wax, roll into a ball, and flatten it. Place this over the area causing irritation.

Protruding Wires: If a loose wire is irritating the inside of your mouth, pop open that pencil case! You can use the eraser end of a #2 pencil to gently nudge the wire back into place flat against the teeth until your next appointment. Place a piece of wax over the wire to prevent irritation and add some stability.

Loose Bracket(s): We definitely need to know if a bracket comes loose! We’ll be able to help you take the best next step for your situation. In the meantime, you can place wax over the loose bracket to provide a little stability, or you can slide the bracket back along the wire to the center of the tooth.

4. Basics Bag

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Keep a small bag with toothpaste, an orthodontic toothbrush, and floss in your locker, and try your best to brush after lunch. It’s strongly recommended that all patients wearing braces brush and floss after every meal and snack. It’s a small step that can have a BIG impact on your orthodontic outcome.

5. Retainer or Invisalign case

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It’s kind of a cliche’, but a lot of retainers really DO end up in the cafeteria trash, forgotten in a wadded up napkin. Keep your case on hand and you can avoid having to decide between digging through the garbage or telling your parents you lost your retainer (again)! That said, a lost retainer can be an emergency, so call us if it happens, and we’ll let you know if you need to head to a local office to have impressions made.

Remember that you can always call on us here at Saddle Creek Orthodontics for help, and you should definitely do so if you’re in pain or if you have questions. We can be reached at both our Collierville and Germantown offices by calling (901) 878-3569.

May your teachers be nice and your homework load light!