True Orthodontic Emergencies Are Very Rare

As a general rule, you should call our office when you are experiencing severe pain, or when you have a problem with your braces that is causing pain, and you are unable to take care of it at home.  If there is a problem after hours, call our office to get our emergency number from the answering machine (number may change based on who is on call).  We will make every effort to help you resolve the problem over the phone if possible, or arrange an after-hours visit to the office as soon as possible.  Of course if you, or your loved one with braces, has been involved in a serious accident that affects the mouth, a visit to an emergency room may be in order to take care of any other problems first.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth. You must remember that not only are your teeth now starting to align/straighten, your cheeks and soft tissues in your mouth will also need to adjust to the feel of the orthodontic braces or appliances. You may experience a tender feeling and biting pressure for five to seven days. Tissues will become less irritated and toughen over time in the first few days or weeks. These feeling may be relieved by the following:


  1. Taking medication such as Advil, Ibuprofen and children’s Motrin regularly will help during this transition period.

  2. Rinsing with warm salt water as a mouthwash regularly will help with any tissue irritations and discomforts. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt into warm water and rinse vigorously.

  3. Placing Orajel or Orabase (both products you may find in a drugstore) to the affected area.

  4. Lastly, cover any orthodontic braces with wax that are causing irritation to cheeks, tongue and/or lips to help lessen the discomfort.

Something Broken or Poking?

Occasionally, something will break or come undone.  This can happen for a variety of reasons.

What do you do in the meantime?  First, look to see if you can identify what the problem is.  Next, review this section of our website where you may find helpful information for dealing with the occasional problems.

Many of these problems can be taken care of at home without having to schedule a repair appointment.  If you’re feeling adventurous, you may be able to clip your own wire with some nail clippers or wire clippers.

You can also call and have an assistant talk you through it!

Walking in VS. Scheduling an Appointment:

Although we always LOVE to see you, you and our other patient’s time is very important to us. We always recommend that you call and schedule an appointment so a time can be arranged to accomplish everything without making you wait.

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