True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. Below is a list of common problems and how they may be remedied at home.

Loose bracket or band

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the band/bracket is out completely, place the bracket in a Ziploc bag and bring it with you to you next appointment. Avoid attaching rubber bands to loose bracket or bands. Eating the wrong foods is one of the biggest causes of broken orthodontic appliances. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods as they can cause your brackets to come off. Call our offices in Huntley or North Aurora to schedule an appointment to repair the bracket.

Broken or Poking Wires

If a wire is broken, simply remove the broken piece. If a wire slips out of the last bracket/band, use tweezers to replace the wire back into the tube. If the wire is pokey, put wax at the end of the wire. If wax does not stay, use a fingernail clipper and cut the wire behind the last bracket. Then remove the wire that was clipped with a tweezer.

General tooth/teeth Soreness

Soreness will occur on and off during orthodontic treatment. When you get your braces on, you mouth will feel sore and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. We recommend eating soft foods. The tenderness can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse for 20-30 seconds. If the tenderness is severe, take Tylenol as needed.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this.

Mouth Sores

While braces do not cause them, they may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. Ulcers may occur on your cheeks, lips or tongue. This is not an emergency, but may be very uncomfortable for the patient. Applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab will give relief from the discomfort. This may need to be reapplied as needed.

Loose Teeth You may notice loose teeth during orthodontic treatment. This is a normal part of tooth movement.

Lost Spacers

If you lose spacers/separators 1-2 days before your appointment, don’t worry that means the space is there. If lost and you have 3 or more days, please call our office to replace the separator.