2450 Neyagawa Blvd. Unit 1C, Oakville, ON L6H 7P4  (905) 257-1997

While we do our best to prevent it, discomfort can occur while you are undergoing treatment. Here is a list of possible scenarios and how to go about treating them.

1. Food caught between your teeth – This is not an emergency, but can be a little uncomfortable or embarrassing for someone with braces. It is easily fixed with a piece of dental floss or an interproximal brush.

Orthodontic Treatment Emergency Care

2. Ligature Comes Off – Tiny rubber bands or small, fine wires, known as ligatures, hold the wire to the bracket. If a rubber ligature should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it. If the wire ligature is sticking out into your lip or cheek, it can be bent back down with the end of a pencil eraser to stop the irritation.

Orthodontic Treatment Emergency Care

3. Discomfort – It is normal for you to feel discomfort for a day or two after braces or retainers are adjusted, and this can make eating uncomfortable. This is normal and temporary and within a few days the discomfort should disappear. Eating soft foods will help to reduce the discomfort you experience when eating.

4. Mouth Sores – Some patients are more susceptible to getting mouth sores. One or several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. A small amount of topical anesthetic such as Orabase or Ora-Gel applied directly to the area can help relieve the discomfort. Reapply as needed.

Orthodontic Treatment Emergency Care

5. Irritation of Lips or Cheeks – New braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially when the patient is eating. A small amount of wax makes an excellent buffer between the brace and the mouth. Pinch off a small piece of wax, roll it into a ball the size of a small pea and flatten the ball over the area causing irritation. If the wax is accidently ingested, there is no harm. Just replace the wax to allow the irritated area to heal.

Orthodontic Treatment Emergency Care

6. Protruding Wires – Occasionally, the end of a wire dislodges from a bracket or works itself out of place, causing irritation to your mouth. Depending on how long the wire is, you can use wax to cover the area until you can schedule an appointment to see us. If the wire is extremely bothersome and you are not able to see us anytime soon, the last resort would be to clip the wire. Reduce the possibility of swallowing the snipped piece of wire by using folded tissue or guaze around the area. A pair of sharp nail clippers can be used to clip the wire.

Orthodontic Treatment Emergency Care

7. Loose Brackets, Wires or Bands – If a bracket has come loose, or a band or wire is broken, please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Brackets can be knocked off if you eat hard or crunchy foods that you were instructed to avoid, or if you were knocked while playing sports.

Orthodontic Treatment Emergency Care

8. Piece of Appliance is Swallowed – Swallowing a piece of appliance is rare, but if it does happen, it can be alarming to the patient. Remain calm. If you start coughing excessively or have difficulty breathing, you may have inhaled or aspirated the piece. Tell your parent or guardian and seek medical attention immediately.

Watch this video to see how to fix common problems that may occur with your braces.