Orthodontic Emergency Tips

We are in the midst of the holiday season and that means crazy times for all of us.  Our calendars are full with holiday shopping, celebrations and gift giving.  Our time seems to be limited on the normal daily activities.  Throw in an orthodontic emergency and you scramble to try and fit that appointment into your schedule.  

Long Orthodontics feels your pain during this time and we would like to help alleviate some of your discomfort.  Although true orthodontic emergencies are rare, below are some tips on handling these situations with holiday cheer.  Of course, you may call our office at 512-523-8680 for assistance at any time or visit our webpage at www.longortho.com for more information.  Keep this information close by in case you need to refer to it while we are closed December 23 – January 2 for the holidays. 


General Soreness

It is common for you to feel sore a couple of days after your braces or retainers have been adjusted.  Remember, this is temporary and very normal.  To help with the soreness, rinse your mouth with warm salt water.  If you are allowed to take over-the-counter pain medicine, take what is normally given for pain.  Eating may be uncomfortable, as well, eating soft foods will be much easier on your mouth. 


Mouth Sores

Mouth sores do happen and for some patients, it is more common with some patients than with other patients.  These sores can appear inside the cheeks, on the lips and even on the tongue.  Unfortunately, they can be uncomfortable.  Braces do not cause the sores but they can trigger or aggravate the area.  Using a topical anesthetic such as Orabase or Ora-Gel will give immediate relief.  Apply the ointment as often as needed.  Make sure to use a cotton swab to keep from other areas getting infected. 


Tenderness of the Mouth

When you get your braces, your mouth is not use to having this new appliance.  It may take a while for your mouth, cheeImageks, lips and tongue to get use to the new feeling.  Eating with your new braces can be irritating.  A small amount of relief wax will help by giving a cushion between your cheek and braces.  You can pinch off a small piece and roll it into a tiny ball.  Flatten the wax and place it completely over the area of braces that is causing the discomfort.  This trick will help make eating and talking so much easier and you will feel better in no time.  If you accidentally swallow the wax, do not worry because it is completely harmless. If the irritation does continue, please call Long Orthodontics.  You may need an adjustment to help out.


Noticeable Food Stuck Between Braces or Teeth

This is more of an embarrassment, or a bit of an uncomfortable situation, than it is an emergency. Fortunately, Imagethis is an easy fix with a piece of dental floss. A small knot tied in the middle of the dental floss will help with the removal of the food.  You may also use an interproxal brush or pick to help oust the food that is stuck between the teeth and braces.  Always remember to be careful not to hurt the gums or damage the braces.


If You Lose a Rubber or Wire Ligature to the Bracket

If a rubber ligature, which holds the wire to the bracket, should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. If it is a small wire ligature, you can simply remove the wire by using sterile tweezers.  There are times when the wire ligature sticks out and pokes into the lip.  You may simply bend the wire back with a cotton swab or pencil eraser. 


Wire Pokes

ImageThere are times when the wire feels as if it slides out the back or out of the bracket.  This will cause your mouth to get irritated and be quite uncomfortable.  You can use a cotton swab or a pencil eraser to push the wire so it is flat against the tooth. Occasionally, the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate the patient’s mouth. If you cannot get to the wire because it is in a difficult position, use your relief wax to cover the wire.

If you cannot come in to our office anytime soon or the wire is extremely bothersome, give us a call so we may schedule an appointment to clip your wire.


What if I Have a Broken Bracket

Brackets are what holds the wires of the braces in place.  Brackets are strong and tough but if you eat hard, crunchy or sticky types of food, they can loosen and even come off the tooth.  If hit hard enough in the mouth, the same result could happen asImage well.  This is why it is best to avoid foods that are not friendly to braces and wear a mouth guard during any type of physical activity. 

The best thing to do if a bracket breaks or comes loose is contact our office. Dr. Long will want to examine your mouth and decide the best approach to fix your bracket. If you are unable to get to our office right away, you can do a quick fix by using sterile tweezers to slide the bracket until it is between the teeth.  Turn the bracket back to the correct position and place it back on the center of the tooth.  Remember this is just a temporary fix.  It is best to see Dr. Long as soon as possible.




Thanksgiving Thanks


Ahhhhh…..THANKSGIVING!  Time to get together with our families and friends!  Time to feast on good food!  Time for big naps, football games and parades! Time to give Thanks! 

This time of year, everyone begins to think about all they have to be thankful.  I see people posting daily what they are thankful for on Facebook.  Their gratitude ranges anywhere from crisis to coffee.  Children in school are writing about what they are thankful for in class.  I would guess the kids are giving much thanks for the break from school and sleeping late.  I remember those days! 

Long Orthodontics is especially thankful this year for our patients and their families who came together with us to donate 764 lbs to the Hays County Food Bank of Texas. Wow! What a great gift to a wonderful organization! A special “Thanksgiving Thanks” to the Buda Chamber of Commerce for supporting this Food Drive as well! 

Thanksgiving is a special time to be thankful for great families, fortunate events, caring friends, amazing communities, and all the gifts of life we’re all lucky to have. At Long Orthodontics, we’re especially thankful for all the wonderful friends, coworkers, parents, community members, and patients who truly are a gift to know. We wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings and hope you enjoy this great holiday season!

Veterans Day


Veteran’s Day is a day of reflection on the incredible dedication, courage and honor that Americans, both living and deceased, have demonstrated in order to preserve the nation’s independence and safety.  Their loyalty to our nation is unmatched and it is important to honor Veterans not only today, but every day.

These brave men and women are parents, children and grandparents.  They are friends, neighbors and coworkers.  You pass them every day as you walk through life.  They are an important part of your community. These dedicated individuals have sacrificed time away from their families.  They have missed holidays, birthdays and meaningful events with their loved ones.  Their families have made huge sacrifices so they may serve their country.  Their strength also needs to be remembered and honored.

My Dad, Russell Long, was a 19-year-old in college when he was called up for duty for the Navy in WWII.  He was from the Midwest and had never ever seen the ocean, let alone been on a ship.  Within a few months of leaving his college campus, he was a naval officer (Lt. JG) in the well-known battle of Iwo Jima. (Remember the famous flag raising during this battle?)  He was the 3rd highest ranking officer on the LSM ship but still 19 years old.  We owe these men and women Veterans a lot!

Here are some facts about the current veteran population of the United States.

  • 9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65.
  • 1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35.
  • 1.8 million veterans are women.
  • 7.8 million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), which represents 33% of all living veterans.
  • 5.2 million veterans served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present).
  • 2.6 million veterans served during World War II (1941-1945).
  • 2.8 million veterans served during the Korean War (1950-1953).
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2008, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • 5 states have more than 1 million veterans in among their population: California (2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1 million) and Pennsylvania (1 million).
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.

U.S. Census Bureau and United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Full Plates

When you think of Thanksgiving, food has to be one of the first things that pops in your head, right?  Everyone sitting around a table, filling their plates with turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, warm rolls and too many desserts to choose.  Sadly, for some people, filled plates of delicious food do not happen very often, if at all.

With your help, Long Orthodontics would like to help fill plates for families this holiday season.  We are collecting food for Hays County Food Bank of Texas at our office as well as Buda Chamber of Commerce office.  The most requested items for families are:

  • Canned fruits such as peaches, pineapple and fruit cocktail
  • Canned vegetables such as carrots and asparagus
  • Canned meats such as tuna, chicken and salmon
  • Macaroni and cheese, pasta and pasta sauces
  • Soup and chili
  • Rice and beans preferably in 1 lb bags
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Oatmeal and cereal

Please bring your items to our office located at 3310 B FM 967, Suite A-110 in Buda.  Our last day to receive donations will be November 14, Thursday.  We have made the donating a little more fun this year!  Every item donated at Long Orthodontics, counts as one entry to win an iPad mini.  The more items donated means more chances to win!  We will draw for the winner on our last day of the food drive.

Dr. Long and Team are very thankful for any donations you can provide.  The families we are helping will be even more appreciative being able to have full plates for their loved ones.

If you would like to find out more information on how you can volunteer or donate to Hays County Food Bank of Texas, check out their website at www.haysfoodbank.org.  Their phone number is 512.392.8300 if you prefer to call.  They are also located at 220 Herndon Street in San Marcos if you would like to stop by their location.

Dr. Long and Team are so thankful for our outstanding patients!  We wish everyone a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!