There are many small, moving parts that go along with braces. On occasion, one may cause a problem. Most problems with braces can be fixed at home using the guidelines below. However, if you feel you cannot solve the issue, please call our office for an appointment. 

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they do happen, we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you cannot take care of yourself.

We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem, or our voicemail will provide a number to reach us outside of normal business hours.


General soreness

When you get your braces on or start Invisalign® treatment, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. Stick to a soft diet until your teeth do not hurt to chew. Irritated gums and other sore spots can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with warm salt water.

If needed, you can use over-the-counter pain medications you would use for a headache, such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil). Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle for correct dosage.

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 appliance

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


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 for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, you may remove it and throw it away.


Loose wire

You may try to replace the wire using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened.


Poking wire

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