"Emergencies" during treatment

"Emergencies", in the true sense of the word, during orthodontic treatment are rare. Only a few, would require immediate attention by the Orthodontist, while others can be managed at home. In a dire situation, where professional assistance is mandatory, the patient may be rushed to the nearest dentist, from where the Orthodontist may be communicated, so that the dentist is able to  handle the "emergency" with minimal or no damage to the appliance put on the teeth.

Irritation of the lips or cheeks

This is normally seen immediately after putting the fixed braces.

SOLUTION : Put the relief wax provided on the braces which may be the cause of the irritationAlternatively, a small piece of wet cotton can be placed over the braces which might be irritating.

Pain in teeth while chewing food

This, again, is a normal feature for the first day or two, after the braces are put or tightened.

SOLUTION : MIld pain killers at regular intervals, will ease the discomfort. Meanwhile it is advisable that the patient limits his/her diet to soft & easily mashable foodstuff.

Cuts and sores on lips & cheeks

With braces stuck on teeth and projecting into the lips / cheeks, continuosuly abrading the lip or cheek surface, often it cuts in, causing a sore area.

SOLUTION : Take a small piece of cotton.  Take any mouth ulcer gel available over the counter. Put it on the cotton and leave that piece of cotton, directly on the sore area, with the gel against the sore. It is advisable that the piece of cotton stays in place all the time, except eating & drinking for faster recovery.

Food stuck between teeth

Food stuck between teeth and braces are more of an embaraasment than an emergency. It is mandatory, to maintain the health of the teeth and gums while undergoing orthodontic treatment,  by brushing and cleaning teeth AFTER EVERY MEAL.

SOLUTION : Use the tooth brush to remove the food particle stuck. If that doesn't help, try using a fine interdental brush. Careful use of a piece of dental floss can help solve the problem, if the particle is stuck behind the braces and between the teeth. If you cannot access it, please ask for help.

LIgatures come off

Tiny rubber bands, or, small fine wires, which hold the main wire in position within the bracket, may come off, once in a way.

SOLUTION: Elastic ligatures, partly out, can be placed back in position  with the help of clean (sterile) tweezers / eye brow plucker. If missing from the bracket, please call the Orthodontist to inform the same, who may advise you of the next appointment.

Metal ligatures, if out of the bracket, need to be discarded and the Orthodontist be notified of the same, so he/she may schedule your next appointment.

Loose bracket or bands

If the instructions are not  followed diligently, it is likely that one or many brackets or bands may come loose.

This could be an emergency of sorts.

 SOLUTION : Please call the Orthodontist earliest possible to schedule an appointment

Wire poking into the cheeks / lips

Occasionally, as the teeth move, the wire on the brackets may project out on one end more than normal and poke into the gums.


With a pencil eraser, the projrcting end may be pressed against the tooth.

If that doesn't work, make a small ball of cotton and wedge it between the pointed end and the cheek, so that it doesn't hurt. Schedule an earliest possible appointment with the orthodontist.

Some cases, the cotton ball doesn't help either, and if the orthodontist is not available, visit the nearest dentist, and perhaps, after communicating withthe orthodontist, can cut off the pointed end, or slide the wire into a correct position.

Extreme cases, where no help is available and the discomfort is extreme, the pointed end may be cut off with a pair of sharp clippers. Be careful not to swallow the cut end.

Piece of appliance is swallowed.

Highly unlikely, but not impossible.

SOLUTION : Remain calm. Notify the Orthodontist. He/She will advise you.

Teeth are shaking

As the teeth are moved with braces, it is common to see few teeth shake more than the others. 

SOLUTION : Ignore it, unless there is an associated severe pain in the same tooth. In the latter case, please notify Orthodontist, who will advise you appropriately.