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Emergency Orthodontic Care

Loose Band, Bracket, Or Appliances

Closeup of braces having elastics placed

If the band/bracket is still attached to the wire, leave in place. If uncomfortable, place wax on it. If it comes out completely, wrap bracket/band or appliance in tissue.   Call our office to schedule a repair visit. Call even if you have an upcoming appointment since repairs of this nature usually take additional time. Broken appliances will delay treatment time and usually need to be repaired as soon as possible.

Loose Wire

Patient having braces wire adjusted

Try to place wire back in place with tweezers or needle nose pliers. If that is not possible, clip the wire with fingernail clippers behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If uncomfortable, place wax on it.

Poking Wire

Woman pushing on wire sticking out

If a wire causes irritation, using a pencil eraser or a Q-tip, push the poking wire down and away from the area, or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Using Wax

Dentist placing wax on brackets

  • Step 1 – Ball up a small amount of the wax with your fingers
  • Step 2 – Dry off your brace with a paper towel
  • Step 3 – Mash the wax against your bracket to make a small comfort mound.
  • Replace if necessary. And don’t worry if you happen to swallow this, it’s just wax.

General Soreness

Woman in pain holding cheek

When you first have your braces placed, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and your teeth may be tender to biting pressure 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. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found at your local pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take whatever over the counter pain medication that you normally take for a headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one or two weeks as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this.

Lost Separators

Animation of bracket and wire braces

If you lose a separator, please call our office to determine if it needs to be replaced. You can reposition the spacer by taking two pieces of dental floss and inserting them through the spacer. Pull on both pieces of floss to stretch the spacer, then slide the spacer back and forth between the two teeth where it belongs. Once the bottom half of the spacer slips under the tight spot between the teeth, release and remove the floss and the spacer will fit back properly.