Handling Orthodontic Emergencies

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur, Jade Orthodontics is here to help you.

As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office. If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment. If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that’s sticking out. You can purchase wax at most grocery stores or pharmacies in the dental section (Walmart, Rite-Aid, Target, Walgreens, etc.)

If you need to reach our office outside of normal hours, you can reach a staff member on our Facebook Page "Jade Orthodontics"

Poking wires

If the wire shifted to one side and is poking, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it into the tube on the back tooth. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.


When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth, and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with warm salt-water or mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) actually slow the tooth movement, so it is not advisable to use them frequently while wearing braces.
The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the
braces to lessen this. Try to find which bracket is causing a sore. After you found it, dry off the area with a paper towel or cotton ball and put a small amount of wax on it to allow your lips/cheeks to heal. The dryer, the better it will stay! If you have questions about how to use wax, we’ll show you how!

Rubber Bands and Headgear

Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the rubber bands and headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more it’s worn, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours. If you run out of rubber bands, call our office or come by during business hours to pick up some more!

Loose appliances or loose brackets

If a bracket has broken off the tooth, it may slide side-to-side on the wire. This usually doesn't cause any pain except if the wire gets distorted. Try to avoid chewing with that part of the mouth and call our office to make an appointment to fix it. If your appliance has come loose from the tooth, Place it back around the tooth and use wax to hold it in place. Do NOT play with the appliance or force it out - if it breaks or gets distorted it may cause damage to the teeth. Remember to always wear a mouthguard when playing sports or other activities to avoid breakage of the appliances.

Loose Wire On Your Braces

Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored tie If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it.

Poking Wire on your braces

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.

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