At Laguna Niguel Orthodontics, true orthodontic emergencies are rare because we take extra measures to ensure that your wires and brackets are secure and minimize any loose or poking parts. However, as your teeth move, wires and appliances can become loose or out of place, especially if dietary guidelines are not followed.

We recommend that you call our office whenever you experience severe pain or have a broken or painful appliance that can’t be fixed on your own. If your issue is not as severe, most orthodontic problems have temporary, at-home solutions that can effectively curb any issues until your next appointment. If a piece of your appliance is loose and removable, place it in a plastic bag and bring it to your next appointment. Place soft wax on any component of your braces that is poking you.
Although true orthodontic emergencies are rare, you should call our office whenever you experience severe pain or have a broken or painful appliance that can’t be resolved on your own. It’s important that you call us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to fix the issue and help you feel comfortable again as quickly as possible.
When you first get braces, it’s normal to experience general mouth soreness and discomfort for three to five days. Consume soft foods until your teeth do not feel tender or hurt to chew. If your gums are irritated or if you have other sore spots in your mouth, try rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater solution. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and rinse your mouth out. If soreness persists, you can take a pain reliever such as Tylenol, Aspirin, or Ibuprofen.
If you experience discomfort when wearing headgear, check to make sure you are wearing the device as instructed by your orthodontist. Headgear discomfort is commonly caused by not wearing the device as instructed by your orthodontist, so please refer to the instructions you were provided. If the facebow (metal wire piece) gets bent, please call our office to schedule an appointment. The more often you wear your headgear the less it will hurt, so make sure that you wear the device for the prescribed amount of hours.
You can apply wax to any part of the appliance that is poking you to feel more comfortable. If the retainer is too loose for wax to hold it in place, or causing severe pain, please call us.
Leave the bracket or band in place if it is still attached to the wire. If the broken piece is uncomfortable, put wax on it. If the broken bracket or band comes out completely or can be removed easily, place it in a plastic bag and bring it into your next appointment.
Try to put your wire back into place using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers and wrap a piece of floss around the bracket in place of the missing elastic band. If you are unable to put the wire back into place or relieve the discomfort with wax, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire in between the braces where it is easily visible and accessible. Be sure to hold the smaller or looser part of wire so that it will not drop into the mouth. Place wax on the end of the wire if it is still sharp.
If a ligature (thin steel) wire is causing irritation, use a pencil eraser or a Q-tip to push the poking wire down and away from the area so that it is no longer poking. You can also place wax on the wire to alleviate the discomfort.