Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic emergencies for patients with braces do not occur often and usually are not to harmful, but discomfort can be a problem.

Here are some of the general problems and solutions you can try as a temporary measure until you can be seen by an Orthodontist.

Broken Braces

Broken or loose braces are not usually an urgent problem, but you should call us and book an appointment. When a bracket comes off a tooth, the wire is attached to an elastic tie, so you don’t swallow the bracket. You can use orthodontic wax on the bracket to prevent it from moving.

Loose Band

A loose band does not require emergency treatment, but it does need to be fixed by your Orthodontist. The band is usually cemented to the tooth, but if  left loose for a 3-4 week period, can start to build up bacteria in the crevice between the tooth and band. The bacteria quickly begins to demineralize the tooth enamel causing decay. Give us a call so we can reset the loose band.

Poking Wire

During the early stage of treatment, the wire used to straighten teeth can get pushed to the back of the molar. When spaces close between teeth, this also causes the wire to push past the back of braces. You can usually treat this at home with some orthodontic wax. Simply place a ball of wax onto the end of the wire and it will create a cushion between the wire and gums. Please let us know if the wax does not resolve the issue.

Orthodontic Discomfort

Discomfort can affect some orthodontic patients, especially after braces have just been placed or adjusted. This is because your teeth are adjusting to the new placement of your braces and can sometimes be felt for a few days. Pain medication such as Panadol can help to relieve any discomfort.


If you experience sudden dental trauma, you should consult your Dentist or GP.

Mouth Sores

Braces can feel uncomfortable to begin with, and it can take a while to get used to them being in your mouth. The surfaces of braces can rub against the inside of your mouth, cheeks, lips and tongue. Use orthodontic wax to provide a cushion between mouth surfaces and braces. You can also use topical anaesthetics for temporary pain relief.

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