Whoops. Uh-oh. Ouch.

Emergency Care Solutions

We’ve got you covered.

Do you have broken wire? Did a bracket come loose? Is your mouth particularly sore? 

No worries! We can fix it. First, let’s get you comfortable with our DIY tips for solving common orthodontic mishaps. Keep in mind these are temporary solutions. If something’s gone wrong with your braces, we want to fix the problem sooner than later—otherwise, you may have to wear them longer.

Note: True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but if you’re experiencing severe pain—or if these tips don’t resolve your concern quickly—call our office to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help!

Common Solutions

General Soreness

When you first get your braces, your mouth may feel sore and your teeth and gums may be tender for two to five days (especially when you bite down).

To relieve the discomfort:

  • Stick to a soft diet until your mouth has a few days to toughen up.
  • Rinse with cool saltwater. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of cool water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. You can also use Healthy Gums Rinse by The Natural Dentist—a better-tasting solution.
  • Apply Orabase to relieve irritation and swelling. You’ll find this topical pain reliever at your local pharmacy.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.  If the tenderness is severe, we recommend taking ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) on a regular basis; or you can alternate between each medication every four to six hours.
  • Apply wax. Your lips, cheeks, and tongue may be tender for a couple of weeks as they become accustomed to the feel of your braces. Wax helps to cushion the irritation. If you need tips for using wax, let us know!
Loose Bracket or Band

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and use wax if it’s irritating you.

If the bracket or band can be removed easily, put it in a plastic bag or envelope, and bring it to your next appointment.

Make an appointment to repair your bracket or band. 

    Poking Wire

    Use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire down.

    Cushion the wire with wax.

    Make an appointment to repair your wire. 

      Loose Appliance

      If your appliance is loose enough that it’s poking you, try cushioning it with wax.

      If part of your appliance is loose and you can easily remove it, put it in a plastic bag or envelope, and bring it to your next appointment.

      Make an appointment to repair your appliance. 

      Loose Wire

      Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to slide your wire back where it belongs. 

      To secure the wire in place, tie a piece of dental floss around the bracket, in place of the missing o-ring. 

      If you can’t get the wire into a comfortable position, try covering the end with wax.

      As a last resort, use a small fingernail clipper to trim the wire behind the last tooth where it’s securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it.

      Make an appointment to repair your wire. 

      Need to get that emergency fixed?

      Ames Office

      1212 Duff Ave
      Ames, IA 50010

      (515) 232-2255
      (888) 402-2255

      Boone Office

      703 8th St
      Boone, IA

      (515) 432-4522

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