Orthodontic Emergency

Orthodontic Emergency

Common Orthodontic Emergencies

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they do occur our office is here to help you whenever we can. Most problems with orthodontic appliances that occur for both adults and children can be managed through the guide that was explained to you at the appointment when you receive your orthodontic appliance.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, and sometimes following adjustments, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. If pain persists, contact us for an evaluation.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We will show you how to use the wax when we give you your kit at your appointment when you have your appliance placed.


Sometimes headgear 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 is bent, please contact us for an evaluation. Headgear typically becomes more comfortable the longer it is worn, so the prescribed hours is extremely important. 

Loose Appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the part that is bothering you, until you are able to contact us for an appointment to have it examined and repaired.

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 the wire comes out entirely, wrap the bracket with a tissue. Then you should immediately contact us for an appointment to have it examined and repaired.

Loose Wire

You can use tweezers to try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn’t help, clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it. Then contact us for an appointment to have it examined and repaired.

Poking Wire

You can use a pencil eraser to push the poking wire down, or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort. If the discomfort continues or the poking wire is severe, please contact us for an appointment to have it examined and repaired.


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