How do you handle a broken wore, loose bracket, or other situation that could arise during orthodontic treatment? The good news is, true orthodontic emergencies are very rare and most of the things that could happen can easily be handled at home until you can get in to see us. Here are some of the most common situations that can come up and how you can handle them.


You may feel some general soreness during your orthodontic treatment. This is most common when you first get your braces placed and on adjustment days. Your mouth may feel a bit sensitive and tender, so we recommend sticking to a soft diet on these days. You can use cold compresses and/or over-the-counter pain medication to relieve soreness. We will provide you with orthodontic wax that can be placed over any areas of your braces that are causing irritation to the inside of your mouth.

Loose bracket

A bracket can occasionally come loose or break. This isn’t an emergency, and you can take care of it until your next appointment. A loose bracket can be held back in place with some orthodontic wax.  If the bracket has come completely off, put it in a plastic bag and keep it to bring to your next appointment.

Poking wire

If a wire is poking and causing irritation, you can use the eraser end of a pencil or a cotton swab to gently move the wire away from the irritated area. If the wire doesn’t move, use a piece of orthodontic wax to provide relief. If the wire is extended too far and irritating the back of your mouth, you can use a sterilized pair of nail clippers to carefully clip the wire.

Feeling of loose teeth

If your teeth feel loose during your treatment, don’t worry – this is a good sign! In order to move to their new locations, your teeth must first loosen from their old locations. Once your treatment has finished and you have your retainer, your teeth will solidify in their new locations.

If you ever experience a situation with your braces and aren’t sure how to handle it, call our office. We will walk you through how to correct it until we can get you scheduled for an appointment.