Are Your Uncomfortable Braces an Emergency Problem?

Orthodontic work can yield its own particular set of emergencies issues from time to time. From loose wires to broken appliances, problems with your orthodontics require immediate attention. Below are descriptions of true orthodontic emergencies that need to be resolved as soon as possible by making an appointment at our dental office:

Loose Metal Brackets

If you have a loose or broken bracket, you should contact your orthodontist for a replacement. In the meantime, use clean tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire until it’s between two teeth. Rotate the bracket until it’s back to the proper position and slide to back to the center of the tooth.

Damaged Brackets

In the event you have twisted the metal of the bracket itself rather than rubber, a sharp or protruding edge can project into the lip and cause discomfort. Until you can get to your orthodontist, you can use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to try and bend the bracket back into place. Be careful in placing too much pressure on the bracket, as it may pop out of place. If the band is starting to come off, you can remove it using sterile tweezers.

Broken Arch Wires

To tide you over until your next orthodontist visit, you can alleviate any discomfort by using a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire so that it is flush against the tooth. If this problem is still causing irritation, try covering the wire with orthodontic wax to protect the area. While you may be tempted to clip the protruding wire, leave it to a dental professional. Cutting the wire yourself can lead to complications and additional discomfort.

Non-Emergency Problems

While the issues below are certainly uncomfortable, they do not hamper the appliance’s ability to work as intended. If you are experiencing serious pain from your recent orthodontic work, contact your orthodontist to determine whether you need a small adjustment.


If your braces are causing irritation, try using relief wax. Roll a small amount of wax into a little ball then flatten it and place it over the area where the braces are irritating you the most. While irritation may not be a full on dental emergency, if pain persists you let your orthodontist know.

Mouth Sores

While these may go away on their own, you can use a cotton ball to apply an oral-safe topical anesthetic to help relieve pain. Avoid touching these sores to prevent introducing bacteria that can cause infections. You can also take an acetaminophen-based pain medication. Many orthodontists suggest staying away from ibuprofen medications, as they might slow recovery.

Questions about your braces? Contact Green Dental and Orthodontics if you have experiencing an problems with your orthodontics or if your dental appliances have become damaged.

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