Orthodontics Emergency Information
If you have problems — or, when to call us
with an orthodontic emergency:
Sometimes during a course of orthodontic treatment, pieces of the hardware loosen or break off. Sometimes these need to be fixed soon and sometimes right away. Here’s some info on when to call us. But please, always feel free to call our office with any and all concerns you might have regarding your braces.
Use dental wax to help alleviate any discomfort associated with braces, bands, brackets, wires or springs until your appointment.
BAND — The metal ring on your teeth that holds parts of your braces or expansion appliances.
- If it’s LOOSE: Push band around tooth and come in to have it re-cemented as soon as you can.
- If it BREAKS: If the band is still attached to the wire, clip wire at the edge of nearest bracket with clean clippers or a wire-cutting tool. And see us as soon as you can.
- If it FALLS OFF totally: Please call us and come in ASAP to have the band replaced. Bands anchor the wires and so are crucial to your treatment. If the wire is still present, clip it with clean clippers or a wire-cutting tool.
ARCHWIRE — A metal wire that is attached to your brackets to move your teeth.
- If it’s too LONG: Come into the office so we can trim the wire.
- If it BREAKS: Call for an appointment ASAP. In meantime, clip wire to the edge of the nearest bracket so that it is flush with the bracket.
- If it comes OUT OF THE BUCCAL SHEATH (the tube on the cheek side of the band): Use tweezers to place wire back into buccal sheath. Call if you have problems.
TISSUE GUARD — A gray or clear plastic tube placed on the metal archwire to help with discomfort from the archwire pushing on the gum tissue. These will be changed at each appointment. Call us if you have a problem.
OPEN COIL SPRING — The coiled spring placed on the archwire to move teeth, create space or hold space for erupting teeth.
- If it POKES: Place wax over or trim the long wire with a pair of clean clippers or a wire-cutting tool. Call us if you have a continuing problem.
BRACKETS — A metal part that is glued onto a tooth and holds the archwire.
- If it comes LOOSE: Call ASAP and come in to have it replaced. In the meantime, clip the colored alastic around the bracket and slide it off of the wire to avoid discomfort.
ALASTICS — The colored rubber band that secures the archwire to the brackets.
- If it comes off please call the office so we know, but it is not an emergency.