Orthodontic Emergency Guidelines

Share This Post

What is an orthodontic emergency? Do you need to come in right away? Can it wait? Read more to find out what to do.

Are you in pain?

  • If your answer is no, you can probably wait until your next appointment.
  • If you answered yes and you cannot wait until your next appointment, call us promptly.
  • If you have some pain but the pain is manageable, rinse out your mouth with salt water (warm water with half a teaspoon of salt). This rinsing can soothe your teeth and gums. You can also take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) to ease pain.
  • For canker sores and irritations, apply an ointment such as Orabase or Orajel.
  • In the meantime, eat soft foods that won’t irritate your mouth.

If you have a broken bracket or the wire popped out (the most common types of breakage), ask yourself:

Is the wire still attached to the bracket?

  • If so, can you push the wire back into place using something soft like a Q-tip or eraser?
  • Can you reinsert the wire with tweezers?

For a broken wire:

  • To lessen further irritation, roll some orthodontic wax into a ball and place it on the end of the wire. (Tip: if you don’t have wax, try using sugarless gum)
  • If you must, to stop the wire from stabbing into your gums, disinfect a small nail clipper and cut the wire flush with the bracket

For a broken bracket:

  • If the bracket hangs loosely, gently remove it with a set of disinfected tweezers and bring it to your next appointment.

As always, if you have any questions, please call us. After hours, you can contact us with emergencies through our 24-hour answering service.

More To Explore

Scroll to Top