Emergency Care

Orthodontic emergencies do not occur very often. However, if you do go through an emergency, we are available to help. In general, call us to schedule an appointment any time you experience either severe pain or have a painful appliance problem.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that’s sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.

You can take care of many problems right at home with temporary fixes that will allow you to wait it out until you make an appointment to be seen. If any piece comes off or you remove it, place it in a bag or envelope and bring it to your next appointment. If you have a wire sticking out, put wax on it. If you find a wire that has moved to one side, you can push it back to the other side.

Once you have achieved some relief from discomfort, make sure you still call our office to schedule a time to repair the problem. If you fail to repair your appliance, it will not work correctly and may extend your treatment time.

General soreness

The first few days after you begin treatment with braces, you may experience some discomfort in the form of soreness or tenderness, this is completely expected. The discomfort should go away on its own in a few days but you can also seek relief by taking one teaspoon of salt and dissolving it into an eight-ounce glass of lukewarm water. You then take the saltwater solution and swish it around in your mouth for two minutes, just be careful not to swallow the saltwater.

If the saltwater rinses do not soothe your soreness, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Another product that can offer you some relief is orthodontic wax, just place on any pieces that are causing friction.


Not wearing your headgear enough hours can cause discomfort. Be sure to wear your headgear as instructed. If your facebow becomes bent, call our office for help immediately. As you wear the headgear more often, the headgear should hurt less.

Loose appliance

If you have a loose piece of your appliance that is irritating any part of your mouth, place wax on it to avoid friction.

Loose bracket

If you have a loose bracket or band that does not come off completely from the wire, you should leave it where it is and add wax for irritation relief. If the bracket or band comes off, place it inside an envelope and bring it to your next appointment.

Loose wire

To resolve a loose wire, you can take a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers and push the wire back into place. You can use a piece of floss to secure the wire into place, just tie the floss around the bracket replacing the colored o-ring. If securing the wire does not work, place wax on the end, if it is still irritating you then use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the tooth that is still secured to. The end of the cut wire may be sharp, in that case, place wax on it.

Poking wire

Push the poking wire down using a pencil eraser. As an alternative, place wax on the poking wire to avoid it poking.