Common Orthodontic Emergencies

What to Do if Something Goes Wrong


Sometimes, your brackets or wires might break. Don’t ignore this! Broken wires and brackets can cause pain and sores in your mouth, and they can make your treatment time longer and less effective.

We have some tips to help you during an orthodontic emergency below, but remember: the best thing to do is to make an appointment right away. We’ll get you in to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Loose Brackets, Wires, or Bands

First, give us a call and schedule an appointment. We will fit you in as quickly as possible to fix the loose part of your braces.

If it’s the middle of the night or a weekend, you might need to cut a wire or slide a bracket off. Wash a set of nail clippers and sterilize them in alcohol; then use those to cut the wire. Call us on the next business day.


Wire Irritations

Take a cotton swab or eraser to move the wire from the spot it is irritating. If you cannot move the wire, cover it with a small piece of cotton or some wax.

If the wire is still painful and you cannot wait for an appointment, you can cut the wire. Wash a set of nail clippers and sterilize them in alcohol; then use those to cut the wire. Call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.


Lost Separators

Give us a call and schedule an appointment. If necessary, we’ll get your separator replaced as soon as possible.


Braces Discomfort

Take acetaminophen or other pain relievers (NOT aspirin). You can also rest a warm washcloth or heating pad on your jaws.

Remember that a certain amount of discomfort during the first weeks of treatment is normal. However, if it’s more than you can handle, call our office for an appointment.