The procedure for what you do after damaging your teeth or appliances varies based on what you’ve done and the severity.

Here’s a list of common issues and what you should do if you run into them:

  • Trauma to Your Tooth:

    Call your dentist and report your trauma.

  • A Bracket is Knocked Off:

    Call your orthodontist to explain how it happened. They will determine the best course of action from there.

  • The Archwire is Poking Your Cheek:

    Put wax over the area the wire is poking. Schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to have the wire clipped.

  • Ligature Wire is Poking Your Lip or Cheek:

    Use a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax.

  • Your Brackets, Wires, or Bands Have Loosened:

    If the braces have come loose in any way, call our office to determine the appropriate next steps. Save any pieces of your braces that break off and bring them with you when you come in to see the orthodontist.

  • Irritation of the Lip or Cheeks:

    Pinch off a small amount of orthodontic wax (the size of a pea) and place it completely over the area the braces are causing irritation. If possible, dry off the area first, as that will make the wax stick better.

  • Mouth Sores:

    Apply a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or OraGel).

  • Discomfort:

    This is normal for the first three to five days after your braces or retainer is adjusted. During this period, eat soft foods. If your mouth becomes sore, you should rinse twice a day with warm salt water. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen (in recommended doses), may be effective.

  • Lost Ligature (Rubber or Wire):

    Contact your orthodontist to see if it needs to be replaced right away.

  • Lip Gets Caught on a Brace:

    CALL YOUR DENTIST IMMEDIATELY! Apply ice to the affected area until you have the opportunity to see your orthodontist or family dentist.

  • Food Caught Between Teeth:

    Remove the piece of food with floss or an interproximal brush.