5 Common Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic emergencies can happen at any time, but a lot of the problems people with orthodontics can be temporarily fixed at home. In some rare cases, there are orthodontic emergencies that require immediate attention.

Differentiating between major and common orthodontic emergencies

When it comes to orthodontic emergencies, you do not need to panic unless you are suffering from one of these conditions:

  • Infection or swelling of the gums
  • Severe pain
  • Trauma to the teeth or face

If you suffer from any of these conditions, you need to seek immediate dental help. If you do not, these tips will help you take care of common orthodontic emergencies that do not require immediate assistance.

5 common orthodontic emergencies

1. Broken or loose brackets and bands

This is one of the most common problems people with braces have. It is caused by frequently eating hard foods or candy, but it can also be caused by constantly touching or trying to move the braces.

If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, do not tamper with it, just leave it as it is until you can see your dentist. If it is causing irritation inside your mouth, you can cover the loose parts with orthodontic wax. If the brackets fall off, store them and take them with you when you go to see your dentist.

2. Soreness

People experience general soreness when they get their braces in for the first time and when they go in for their adjustments. The soreness usually persists for three to five days.

You can relieve the pressure by rinsing your mouth with salt water. Simply mix one teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of warm water and use the solution to rinse your mouth. If the soreness persists, manage the pain with aspirin until your appointment with your dentist.

3. Loose wires

If you have loose or broken wires, you can remove the piece that is poking out by pulling it out with a pair of tweezers. If the wire is not broken but it is poking out and cutting the inside of your mouth, you can turn the protruding part to the side and hold it in place with orthodontic wax until you get to see your orthodontist.

4. Loose teeth

When you get braces, your teeth loosen slightly, which helps them shift in the desired direction. However, some people experience some tenderness and discomfort because of the movement of the teeth. If you are in pain because of the movement of your teeth, you should take an over-the-counter pain reliever and rinse your mouth with warm salt water to reduce the pain.

5. Headgear pain

Having headgear is initially uncomfortable but you get used to it the longer you wear it. If the discomfort from the headgear does not subside, you can get temporary relief with over-the-counter painkillers before your scheduled appointment with your dentist.


Most common orthodontic emergencies can be treated with home remedies before your appointment with your orthodontist. If you need more information on how to deal with orthodontist emergencies, we invite you to contact us today.

Request an appointment online or call us at 559-435-0966 for an appointment in our Fresno or Oakhurst office.

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