Orthodontic Emergencies


If you experience a breakage or loosening of any of your appliances please call our office as soon as possible. Please do not come directly to the office. By calling us first we will be able to schedule a time to see you. If you have a scheduled appointment already, please call to let us know that you need something repaired so that we may add additional time to your appointment if needed.

If you need assistance after hours, please call our office phone line and leave a message on our emergency service so that we may contact you. Please be sure to leave your name, phone number with area code, and a brief message.


Orthodontic Emergencies

Click on the topics below for solutions to some common non-emergency problems:


If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip®. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax or a cotton ball until you can see us for an adjustment.

If the main wire has come out of the tube on the back tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. If the wire is not sticking you, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, if you cannot come into our office, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or fingernail clipper close to the back of the last brace.

If a separator falls out, call our office so we can arrange to replace it. If it happens a day before your appointment to put on braces or bands, you do not need to do anything.
Remain calm if you swallow a piece of your appliance. It will usually go into the stomach and pass out of the body in a bowel movement. However, if you experience difficulty breathing, you should seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.
If a retainer cracks or breaks, remove it from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office. Sometimes the retainer may be beyond repair and a new one must be made.
Take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if your teeth are sore after your appointment. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS, PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE ANY HISTORY OF ALLERGIC REACTIONS.

If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or your Waterpik® Flosser to dislodge the food. If you cut your gums, tongue or the inside of your cheek, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. If the bleeding doesn’t stop, call your family dentist or our office.

Minor irritations and canker sores will heal much more quickly if you apply Zylactin® or Orabase® according to the manufacturer’s directions. You can purchase these products over the counter at most pharmacies and convenience stores.