Braces Emergency FAQ's

Braces Emergency FAQ's

Possible Ortho Irritations


Please refer to our video on “Ortho Irritation” for more information on how to handle emergency orthodontic situations. 


Typical irritations and how to solve them
•    Loose or Poking Archwires
•    Loose Brackets or Bands
•    Lost Separators
•    If You Swallow Something
•    Broken Retainer
•    Sore Teeth or Sore Gums


Loose or Poking Archwires
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.


Loose Brackets or Bands
If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire. by a little colored rubber ring or a small steel ligature tie. Tweezers can be used to re-position the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of the problem, so we may schedule the appropriate time to repair the bracket. If a piece of your braces breaks, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.


Lost Separators
If a rubber spacer or 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.


If You Swallow Something
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.


Broken Retainer
If a retainer cracks or breaks, remove the retainer from your mouth and gather all of the pieces. Please contact our office to schedule professional repair or replacement.


Sore Teeth or Sore Gums
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. Rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt can also be soothing.
Minor irritations and canker sores can 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.

If you have questions please contact your Smile Spot office or call 844-646-SPOT to get a listing of our locations.

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