Emergency Care – Braces

In a pinch? Learn how to take care of your broken braces in an emergency

Orthodontic emergencies aren’t that common, but if one arises, we are here for you. Before giving us a call, however, read the tips below to see if there is an easy at home fix that can save you from making an unnecessary trip to our office.


When you first get your braces on, you might feel general soreness in your mouth, and your teeth might be tender to biting pressures for about 3-5 days. This is normal and nothing to worry about. It’s important to stick to a soft diet until your teeth don’t hurt when you chew. Did you know that irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt-water rinse? You can also take over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Aleve.


Sometimes, a brace or a band may become loose. If this happens, no worries, this is not an emergency. If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, it’s usually best to just leave it in place, but if it bothers you, you can gently pluck it out. Unless a loose brace is causing you pain, there is no need to call or come into the office, we will simply fix it at your next scheduled visit. If it is causing you discomfort, see below.


If a wire is poking you, there are several things you can do to relieve your discomfort. The first way to relieve a pokey wire is to place wax over the area. Remember to dry the area first before applying wax so that the wax sticks.


If the wax method doesn’t seem to work, use a pencil eraser to carefully push the wire down.


If this doesn’t work you can try using a pair of tweezers to, carefully put your wire back into place. If you can’t put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, you can use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened, but only if the other ways don’t work. If the end of the wire is still sharp, remember to place wax on it. After relieving your discomfort following these instructions, give the office a call to schedule an appointment sometime within the next week if possible.



Although this is very uncommon, it does sometimes happen. If your glued-in expander has come loose, give us a call immediately, and we will get you in soon to take care of it. If it is after hours, and you are not in pain, just leave it as is and call us in the morning of the next day. If the expander has completely come out, no worries, we will re-glue it during the next day that we are open.