Emergency Info

What to Do in Case of Emergency

Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office; by calling us we will be able to create a time to see you and we may even save you a trip. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to let us know you need an appliance repair.

Tie around the Bracket comes off (Elastics)

eraserTiny rubber bands or small fine wires hold the wire to the bracket. If a rubber tie comes off, you may be able to put it back in place using sterile tweezers. If a wire tie comes loose, remove it using sterile tweezers. If the wire tie is sticking out but is not loose, you may bend it back with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate irritation.



It’s normal to experience discomfort during the first week after braces or retainers are adjusted. Eat a soft food diet for a couple of days to make eating more comfortable. You may take ibuprofen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your braces.

Lost Separators

Most patients lose a separator during their orthodontic treatment. Do not worry; simply call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Poking Wire

Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate the mouth. Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved to a comfortable position, cover it with wax. (See Irritation of Lips or Cheeks below for instructions on applying wax.) In a situation where the wire is extremely bothersome and you aren’t able to see the orthodontist anytime soon, you may use a pair of sharp clippers to snip off the poking wire. Use a folded tissue or gauze around the area to reduce the possibility of swallowing the snipped piece of wire.

Mouth Sores

Some patients are more susceptible to mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be exacerbated by an irritation from orthodontic appliances. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Orajel) directly to the sore using a cotton swab.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

waxxA small amount of orthodontic wax makes an excellent buffer between the braces and mouth. Pinch a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation. If the wax is accidentally swallowed, it’s no problem. The wax is harmless.


Loose Bracket, Wires or Bands

If the braces have come loose in any way, please call the office immediately to determine the next step. Brackets are the parts of the braces attached to teeth with a special adhesive. Brackets can be knocked off by eating hard or crunchy foods that are supposed to be avoided during orthodontic care or from an injury to the mouth. Please call the office to schedule an appointment.

To review the parts of your braces, please see the Orthodontic Terms page.