Although orthodontic emergencies are quite rare, they can occur. Knowing what an orthodontic emergency is, and how to proceed if you have one, can help get it resolved with a minimum of pain and stress.

An emergency appointment may be made when there is

  • severe pain
  • a loose band
  • a broken wire
  • something sticking out that you can't fix yourself

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the names of the parts of your appliances. If you have an emergency, it will help when you phone the office to be able to identify what part is damaged or out of place.


A small amount of discomfort is normal when you first get braces. It's also common to feel soreness or tenderness after an adjustment appointment.

If you're experiencing the typical, mild soreness, you can try using a saltwater rinse. Dissolve a teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously with the solution.

Otherwise, you can take Tylonol, Advil, or any other over-the-counter painkiller that you would take for a headache.

If you are still in a significant amount of pain after trying these options, call our office right away. There may be some damage to, or problem with, your orthodontic appliances.

Wires & Bands

Don't be alarmed if one of your wires or bands comes loose. This happens occasionally.

If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument ( like the back of spoon or a pencil eraser) and carefully, gently push the wire under the archwire. Just get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, apply wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance.

Contact our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it along to your appointment.

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