Emergency Care

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they do happen, we are available to help. Please call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can't resolve on your own. We'll schedule an appointment to address the issue.

There are several problems you can probably solve on your own until you can get to our office:

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If something doesn't seem right, please be sure to give us a call to schedule a time to examine the issue.

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There are several problems you can probably solve on your own until you can get to our office:

  • If you are able to remove a loose piece of appliance, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment.
  • If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that's sticking out. 
  • If the wire has slid to one side, pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.

After you alleviate any immediate pain or discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time for us to repair and examine the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may disrupt your treatment plan.

General soreness - remedy - emergency care - Bettagere Orthodontics

General Soreness

When you first get braces, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and bite tenderness in your teeth for three to five days. Stick to a soft food diet until your teeth do not hurt when you chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash:

  • Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water.
  • Rinse your mouth vigorously. 
  • If the tenderness is severe, take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or whatever medication you normally take for headache or similar pain. It is not advisable to take aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) or naproxen sodium (Aleve, Naprosyn, Anaprox) while wearing braces since they actually slow tooth movement.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!

Loose wire - braces- emergency care - Bettagere Orthodontics

Loose Wire

Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing, colored O-ring. If you cannot reposition the wire comfortably, and covering the end with wax doesn't help, as a last resort you can use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it.

headgear - braces  emergency care - Bettagere Orthodontics


Sometimes discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please follow our instructions. If the facebow (metal piece) is bent, please call our office for assistance. The headgear should hurt less the more you wear it, so be sure you get in the prescribed number of hours.

loose appliance - braces - emergency care - Bettagere Orthodontics

Loose Appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.

loose bracket - emergency care - Bettagere Orthodontics

Loose Bracket

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and bring it to your next appointment.

poking wire - braces - emergency care - Bettagere Orthodontics

Poking Wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.