Handling Common Orthodontic Emergencies at Home


If you or one of your children have recently had braces or are using another orthodontic appliance, you may be concerned about dealing with orthodontic emergencies. You can feel confident knowing that true emergencies associated with braces are rare. Also, we are here to help and address any concerns you may have.

When to Schedule an Appointment for an Orthodontic Emergency

It is true that loose and poking wires can be frustrating and painful. However, if you schedule an appointment and have them looked at within a few days, you do not need to worry about any adverse impact on your overall treatment. Look at the common orthodontic emergencies below and some tips on managing some emergencies at home.  Feel free to call us anytime if you or your child need to come in for a special appointment.

Tenderness and Soreness

After having braces put on or having an adjustment done, dealing with soreness is common. You may notice that your mouth just feels generally sore. Or you may notice a tender feeling when biting down on food. Or there may be pinpointed areas in your mouth that feel irritated, like your cheeks, lips, or tongue.

There are simple at-home treatments you can use to deal with the first few days of general soreness. Make a warm salt water mouthwash and rinse your mouth vigorously with it to relieve discomfort. If the soreness is severe, take a pain medication, like something you would use for a headache.

In areas that feel uncomfortable because they are coming in contact with the surface of the braces, use wax. We provide wax to all of our clients in the kits given to them after having braces applied. If these symptoms persist, contact us to schedule an appointment.

Loose Wires, Brackets, and Appliances

Loose wires can poke the inside of your cheeks and cause discomfort. A good solution may be covering the wire with wax. Or you may be able to put the wire where it is supposed to be using tweezers. If none of these solutions help, clip the wire and cover it with wax. Contact us to set up an appointment and have the wire repaired.

A loose bracket that has completely detached should be wrapped in a clean tissue. Call us right away to schedule an appointment and have the issue addressed. If it is attached to the wire, do not move it. Pull wax over it, and give us a call.

Any loose appliance that is poking or bothering you can be temporarily addressed using wax. Call us to find out what to do next. We will likely schedule an appointment where you can be examined and have a problem addressed.

A Poking Wire

A poking wire is a common complaint among those who have recently had braces applied or adjusted. You may be able to use a pencil eraser to adjust the wire into a position that is more comfortable. Cover it with wax and see if the pain goes away after a couple of days.

If you cannot adjust it, cover it with wax. Contact us to schedule an examination if you do not think it is just a matter of the area toughening up and getting accustomed to the wire.