How to Handle Orthodontic Emergencies

July 10, 2023

How to Handle Orthodontic Emergencies

Ow! What's that? You're eating dinner when a wire bracket from your braces suddenly comes loose and starts poking the inside of your mouth. Suddenly, you find yourself in an orthodontic emergency! 

But wait – Don't panic.

Knowing how to handle these situations quickly and calmly is critical. Here are a few tips on how to handle orthodontic emergencies such as broken braces, loose wires, and poking wires.


What Should I Do if My Braces are Causing Irritation or Pain?

If you’re experiencing discomfort from braces, such as mouth sores with braces or swollen gums in braces, try rinsing with warm salt water or using an over-the-counter pain reliever. If the irritation or pain persists, contact your orthodontist immediately to schedule an appointment or seek urgent orthodontic care.


What Should I Do if a Wire or Bracket is Poking My Cheek?

If you notice a wire or bracket poking your cheek, try covering it with orthodontic wax for emergencies. This will help to reduce the irritation. You can find wax for braces in most drug stores. If the irritation or pain persists after applying wax, seek immediate orthodontic care or schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible.


What Should I Do if a Band Comes off My Tooth?

If a band has come off your tooth, contact your orthodontist immediately. Depending on the severity of the situation, your orthodontist may advise you to go in for orthodontic emergency treatment or provide instructions on how to proceed.


What Should I Do if My Retainer Breaks?

If your retainer breaks, avoid using glue to try and mend it. This will likely cause further problems as the adhesive can contain harmful chemicals to your teeth. Instead, contact your orthodontist immediately so they can provide you with a new retainer or give instructions on how to repair it.


What Should I Do if I Have an Orthodontic Emergency?

If you ever find yourself in an orthodontic emergency, the most important thing to do is stay calm and contact your orthodontist immediately. Your orthodontist can advise on how best to handle the situation and may even be able to book an emergency appointment if needed. 

If you cannot get ahold of your orthodontist, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends contacting a local emergency dental provider for assistance.

No matter what kind of orthodontic emergency you find yourself in, staying calm and taking quick action is vital to ensure the problem gets resolved quickly and safely. Remember that your orthodontist is there to help and will be able to provide you with the guidance and support you need. With proper care, your orthodontic emergency can be quickly resolved.


When Should I See an Emergency Dentist?

If you experience severe pain or swelling in the mouth, or if your orthodontic emergency is accompanied by fever, you should seek help from an emergency dentist or orthodontist immediately. In any case of a dental emergency, it's essential to act quickly to resolve the problem as soon as possible. 

By understanding how to handle orthodontic emergencies and when to see an emergency dentist or orthodontist, you can be prepared for any situation. With the proper knowledge and approach, you can navigate any orthodontic emergency that comes your way confidently! 


What Preventive Measures Can I Take?

Orthodontic emergency prevention is always better than cure, so stick to your regular dental hygiene routine and visit your dentist and orthodontist as recommended. Additionally, follow these tips: 

  • It's essential to be careful when eating hard or sticky foods that can get stuck in your braces, as this can increase the risk of an emergency. 
  • It's also wise to avoid biting your nails or chewing on pencils and other objects, which may damage the braces. 
  •  If you're playing sports, use a mouth guard for extra protection.
  •  Be careful when brushing and flossing around your braces, as it's easy to accidentally dislodge a wire or bracket if you're too vigorous. 
  •  Lastly, if you experience discomfort from your braces, contact your orthodontist immediately

By taking these preventive measures, you can ensure that orthodontic emergencies are managed quickly and effectively! 


What is a Proper Oral Hygiene Routine?

A proper oral hygiene routine should include the following: 

  • Brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste. This will help to remove plaque and prevent the buildup of bacteria. To properly brush, angle the toothbrush at 45 degrees against the gums and use circular motions on each tooth.
  • Flossing daily to remove food particles and debris from between teeth. This will help to prevent decay and gum disease. Make sure you're flossing correctly, too -- gently curve the floss around each tooth and use a clean section each time. 
  • Rinsing with a fluoride mouthwash. In addition to freshening your breath and soothing any irritation caused by braces, this can help to reduce tooth decay and protect your enamel. 
  • Avoiding sugary and acidic drinks. These can damage the enamel of your teeth, leading to cavities and other dental problems.
  • Visiting your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups. This will help to catch any problems early on and ensure your teeth are healthy. 

By following a proper oral hygiene routine, you can maintain good oral health even with braces or other orthodontic treatments! 



Orthodontic emergencies can be stressful, but knowing how to handle them quickly and calmly can make all the difference. Be sure to follow preventive measures such as avoiding certain behaviors and maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. And if an emergency does arise, contact your orthodontist immediately so they can help you get back on track! 

With these tips, you'll be prepared for any orthodontic emergency that comes your way. If you're in the Springfield, MO, area and need orthodontic care, Sharp Orthodontics is here for you. Schedule your smile assessment today!

Get in Touch!

(417) 888-3030

1524 E Bradford Pkwy, Springfield, MO 65804

(417) 337-8020

203-C Buccaneer Blvd. Branson, MO 65616

New patient? Special offer here!
Chat with us
Welcome to Sharp Orthodontics!
We are open and offering complimentary new patient consultations.
How can we help?
I'm considering treatment
I’m a patient and need assistance
Excellent, I can help!
Good news, We're are now offering both free Virtual and In-Office Consultations
PLUS, we have a limited time special offer for you.
Just by chatting here we’re both saving valuable time, so you've just earned a $100 credit toward treatment!
Use this promo code: chat100 and click one of the options below here to redeem your $100 credit and let us know what you are comfortable doing next:
I'd like to set up a virtual consultation
I'd like to set up an in-person consultation
Click to call Sharp Orthodontics