Emergency Info

Occasionally you may experience an orthodontic emergency. While they are simple to treat, they may be a little upsetting to the patient and parents. For some emergencies, you may need to contact your orthodontist.

When talking to your orthodontist about your emergency, it is helpful to know the accurate terms of the parts of your braces. These terms can be found on our Parts of Braces/Glossary page.

What to Do in Case of Emergency

Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.

Loose Brackets or Bands

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket or wire is loosened. The bracket may need to be re-fitted as soon as possible. You may have a situation that requires cutting a wire or sliding a bracket off a wire at night or over the weekend. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, you may use fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. Please call our office the next business day, so that we may schedule an appointment for you.

Wire Irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small piece of cotton or a small amount of wax. If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.

Lost Separators

Most patients lose a separator during their treatment. Do not worry about losing a separator, but call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take Panadol while you adjust to your new braces. A warm wash cloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

Soreness of Teeth

You may experience some soreness after the placement of your braces. Your teeth be sensitive to any pressure and may be tender. Typically if your do experience any soreness, it should be gone with a week. Allow 1 -2 weeks for your lips and cheeks to adjust to the braces and to "toughen up." To ease the soreness, you can use non-prescription pain medication such as Tylenol or Advil as well as special wax that we will give you to to cover the braces and prevent irritation.

Mouth Sores

While in braces, some patients are susceptible to mouth sores. These sores are caused by the irritation from braces – not the actual braces. Mouth sores tend to appear in the cheeks, lips or tongue. While this is not an emergency, it may be very uncomfortable for the patient. We recommend applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the mouth sore using a cotton swab.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

Once your braces are placed, you may experience some irritation in the mouth - especially while eating. One remedy to help with the irritation is non-medicinal relief wax, which creates a barrier between the brace area causing the irritation and your mouth. Take a small amount of wax and roll it into a small ball – about the size of a pea. Then flatten the ball and place it on the area causing the irritation. You may then eat be able to eat more comfortably. If the wax is accidentally ingested it is not a problem as the wax is harmless. If you run out of wax and are unable to make it to our office, cotton wool lubricated with Vaseline may also be used to shield the lips and cheeks from the braces.

Protruding Wire or Loose Bracket

It is possible for wires to poke you and brackets to become loose. This is not uncommon. If this happens, call our office so that we can schedule a time for you to come in and have it fixed. While you cannot these problems on your own, you can put some wax or cotton on the end of the wire to alleviate the irritation.