Orthodontic Emergencies | Dentistry 390

Orthodontic Emergencies


  • Parts of braces and orthodontic appliances may cause irritation to the inside of lips and cheeks, especially at the beginning of treatment.
  • Orthodontic wax that can be applied on parts of the braces causing irritation.
  • Quick relief can be achieved by using a topical anaesthetic such as Ora-Gel.
  • If discomfort and irritation are still problematic after a few days, communicate with our office so that we can determine if it necessary to see you earlier than what was originally planned.


  • Teeth move when a light continuous pressure or force is applied to them.
  • When pressure is initially applied to the teeth, it is possible that some teeth become sensitive for a few days following an adjustment visit.
  • Sensitivity can also appear weeks after an adjustment as the teeth progressively move toward their final corrected position.


  • If there are no allergies or other contra-indications, ibuprofen can be taken for a day or two to relieve the discomfort from tooth movement.
  • The level of discomfort as well as its duration may vary variable between individuals. If you feel unusual or persistent pain and/or discomfort, call our office so that we can evaluate the situation and make the appropriate recommendations.


  • Orthodontic appliances and braces are very precise but also fairly fragile appliances.
  • Braces are designed to make teeth move in all directions (in 3D). Occasionally, one or more teeth may seem to be moving in an abnormal direction. This is possible, especially in the early stage of treatment, when the braces may express only one direction of movement at a time. Be patient and everything should self-correct with time.
  • However, unusual dental movements may occur when brackets break or become loose, when an applied force is too strong or directed improperly (use your elastics only as instructed) or when wires are bent or damaged. If you see such changes in your mouth, call us so that we can decide if it is necessary to see you.
  • If you’re are close to the end of your treatment and you notice abnormal tooth movements, call us so that we can evaluate the situation and avoid having to postpone the removal of your braces.


  • If part of a broken appliance (wire, bracket, band, etc.) can be removed, try to do it.
  • Save the parts that you removed and bring them to your next appointment (bracket, spring, etc.).
  • If this is not possible, try to cover parts of the appliance causing the irritation with the orthodontic wax that we gave you at the beginning of your treatment.
  • In case of emergency, any soft material such as gum, gauze, a little cotton pellet or even silicone or wax ear plugs (available in any pharmacy) may be used.
  • If the end of a wire is poking your cheek or gums and wax does not alleviate the problem, you can attempt to replace the wire by pushing it with an eraser at the end of a pencil or a Q-tip
  • As a last resort, you may try to cut the irritating portion of a wire with a nail cutter or a pair of small cutting pliers.
  • Please note that loose brackets and certain appliance breakage do not always have to be repaired immediately if they don’t cause discomfort.
  • If your retainer is lost or broken, call us.
  • When in doubt, do not hesitate to call us to describe the problem so that we can make the appropriate corrections.