Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you. Please call our office during regular business hours if any of your appliances come loose. A staff member will help you determine what requires immediate attention and what can wait until your next appointment. If a traumatic incident occurs after hours, please call the office and you will be directed on how to leave an emergency page. 

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.

After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.


General soreness

When you get your braces on or after a routine adjustment you may feel some soreness in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for a few days. Sticking to a soft diet will likely make it easier and more comfortable during these times. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is more severe, the doctors recommend  Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks at the beginning of treatment as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!


Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it's worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.

Loose appliance

Please call our office as soon as possible during normal business hours if your appliance is loose or broken. 

Loose bracket

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.

Loose wire

Sometimes there may be some discomfort caused by your wire. They may shift or come out of the bracket slot. You may use soft wax to cover the end that is poking. If the wire is causing great discomfort, try clipping it with nail clippers or use a pair of tweezers that have been washed and sterilized with alcohol. Please call our office for an appointment if the problem cannot be resolved. 

Poking wire

Using a pencil eraser or cotton swab, push the poking wire down or place a small amount of wax to cover the end of the wire. 

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