Emergency Care

Most orthodontic emergencies can easily be taken care of at home, if you try and still need help feel free to give us a call we are always here to help!

Here are a few tips on caring for orthodontic emergencies. Give us a call on the next business day when something is broken or missing. If you are unable to correct the discomfort or it continues to be bothersome give us a call to schedule an emergency appointment. We may not be able to fix what is broken at that time, but we will make sure you are comfortable and schedule accordingly.

In order to correct or describe what has occurred it is helpful to understand the parts of your braces.


Archwire – The main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It’s changed periodically throughout treatment.
Elastic Tie – Tiny rubber band that fits around the bracket to hold the archwire in place.
Hook – Welded or removable arm to which rubberbands are attached.
Bracket – Small attachment that holds the archwire in place. Most often brackets are cemented on the tooth surface eliminating the need for a band

Broken or Loose Bracket

If the bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place and try to put wax on it (see using wax below.) If the bracket is completely off call on the next business day to let us know which bracket is off – upper or lower back or front. We will then schedule your next appointment accordingly.

Loose Wire

Try putting the wire back into the tube with tweezers. If you aren’t able to reinsert the wire, clip the wire using fingernail clippers, small scissors or small wire cutters behind the last tooth to which it is still attached. Wax can then be used if wire is rubbing.

Broken Bracket

Loose Bracket

Poking Wire

Poking Wire

Use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire towards the tooth. If that is not possible put wax on it (see using wax).

Sore Teeth

Rinse with warm salt water and take Tylenol or Advil as necessary. Soreness is very common after the initial placement of brackets and monthly adjustments. Some patients compare it to having a headache or loose tooth; this is just part of getting used to having braces.

Loose Appliance

Place Wax on it until you can get in to see us.

Mouth Sores (Ulcers)

Rinse with warm salt water to aid healing and cover any rubbing areas with wax.

Using Wax

Using Wax

Roll a small piece of wax into the shape of a ball. Dry the area completely with a Q-tip or cotton ball. This is very important the wax will not stick if the area is wet at all. Simply shape the ball of wax over the irritating bracket or wire.

In the Case of an Emergency

If you still need help with your orthodontic emergency please call the pager and touch-tone in the number where we can return your call. One of our team members will return your call promptly. Emergency Pager: (314) 751-1785