Handling Common Emergencies


Do not attempt to treat your orthodontic emergencies yourself if you feel uncomfortable trying to resolve the emergency or are unsure how to handle the emergency.

Remember that loose and broken braces are most often caused by eating the wrong foods. Our original estimate of your total treatment time assumes no appliance breakage. Loose and broken braces prolong treatment! 

Poking wire or bracket: You were given a tooth brushing kit at the start of treatment.  In the kit is a container or two of wax.  Take apiece of the wax and roll it into a small ball.  Push the wax ball firmly around the wire that is poking you.  Contact the office and let the receptionist know that you have a poking wire that needs to be clipped.   If one of the small wire ties that holds the main wire in or wire rubber band hooks is sticking out, you can attempt to push the poking part of the wire in towards the gums with a pencil eraser.  If you are unable to do this, call the office and let the receptionist know that you have a poking wire that needs to be attended to..  

Broken wire: Press the wire towards your teeth very gently with a pencil eraser. If the wire is loose or you have a loose piece, carefully remove it and place it in a “Zip Lock” bag and bring it to the office.

Loose or Broken Bracket or band: If the bracket or band is still attached to the wire, contact the office immediately for an appointment to have the bracket or band bonded again. If the bracket or band is loose and in your hand, place in a “zip locks” bag and bring it back to the office.

Colored “O” ring is missing: As long as you have other rings still present, usually there is no problem, however you should contact the office to have the “O” ring replaced.

Broken elastic chain: If the elastic chain has come off of the last brace and is bothering you, you may cut off the elastic portion that is hanging with a nail scissors.  Do not remove the elastic chain from any other teeth.  Contact the office and let the receptionist know that  your elastic chain has broken.

Headgear not fitting: Don’t wear the headgear until the next appointment.

Severe trauma with loose teeth: Call the doctor immediately or your family dentist or an oral surgeon as soon as possible.

Broken retainer: Do not wear the retainer if it does not fit well. Call the office to schedule an appointment to have the repairs done or if necessary a new one to be made. Do not wait for several weeks as the teeth may shift requiring additional treatment at additional cost and time. If you have a permanent retainer that has come loose, contact the office to have the retainer re-bonded as soon as possible.

Small cuts: To help a cut heal, rinse your mouth with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of warm water.


Call our office during our regular business hours for an appointment to have us check the orthodontic problem