Orthodontic Emergencies

What to do in Orthodontic Emergencies

Although there are very few true orthodontic emergencies, during the course of treatment you may discover that you have loose or broken brackets or that the orthodontic wires may shift and begin irritating your lips or cheeks.

If you have a problem that you cannot resolve on your own, please call our office. Our orthodontic team will be able to give you advice on how to solve the problem yourself or schedule you the appropriate appointment so that the problem can be fixed. Please do not come to the office without an appointment, as we will better be able to schedule you if you call our office first.

Loose bracket

It is not an immediate emergency; however, call the office to schedule an appointment to repair the bracket. If it is within 1 week until your next scheduled treatment appointment, the broken bracket can often be repaired at that time. If the bracket is attached to the wire, leave it in place and cover it with wax as needed for comfort. If the bracket comes out completely, bring it with you to your next appointment. Avoid connecting elastics or a headgear appliance to any loose brackets.

Broken or poking wire

If a broken wire can be removed easily, remove the broken piece. If a wire slips out of its tube, replace the wire in the tube or under the tube hook with tweezers. If the wire still pokes, try to slide it over with your finger or put wax on it until we can see you in the office.

Traumatic accidents

Use ice immediately to reduce swelling. If the teeth are displaced and don’t fit together properly, arch wires are bent, or soft tissue is stuck in the braces, schedule an appointment immediately in our office, with your general dentist or oral surgeon.

Soft tissue impingement

Call our office for an appointment to make you more comfortable. Use wax to cover the sharp edge, temporarily.



If you lose or break your Invisalign retainers, call our office immediately.  If you were to advance to your next retainer within one week, try the next Invisalign retainer in.  If it does not fit, or if it is longer than one week until you were to switch, a new retainer will have to be ordered from Invisalign at an additional fee.

Click here to print our Handling Orthodontic Emergencies form

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