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Orthodontic Emergencies

Even though they do not happen often, orthodontic emergencies do occur. If you have one, give us a call. Generally, you should contact us if you experience severe pain or your appliance is causing pain and you are not able to take care of it yourself. When you call us, we will find room in the schedule and address your problem.

With many of the issues experienced while wearing your appliance, you can take temporary measures to solve the problem until you can get to our office. Any loose piece of an appliance that comes off or that you can remove should be put in a plastic bag and brought with you to your appointment.

A bit of wax is an easy fix when your braces are poking you or feeling abrasive. Put a small piece of wax on the part that is sticking out. If the wire has moved to one side, you can use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to pull it back to the other side, and put it back into the tube on the back tooth.

Even if you solve the problem and have no more discomfort, it is still important to schedule an appointment in our office as soon as possible so the problem can be repaired. If a damaged appliance is neglected, it can interfere with the progress of the procedure and disrupt your treatment plan.

General Soreness

New braces often result in the mouth feeling sore for a few days. Your teeth may feel tender when you bite down, and you may have sore spots on your soft tissues as you adapt to the braces. This will last for three to five days. Rinsing with saltwater solutions should help alleviate some of the discomfort. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in warm water and rinse vigorously.

Alternatively, you can use the Healthy Gums Rinse by the Natural Dentist. This is a better-tasting mouthwash and also delivers good results. Orabase applied directly to the affected area may also help with pain relief. You will find this product at your local pharmacy.

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) will also help. Keep in mind that some pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox) will slow down tooth movement. Use these medications minimally while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

You can expect your lips, cheeks and tongue to feel irritated for up to two weeks as they adjust to the surface of the braces. We can show you how to use wax as a barrier to minimize irritation.


It is important to wear your headgear as recommended by your orthodontist. Failure to follow correct procedures can result in discomfort. If the metal piece, called the facebow is bent, please call the office so it can be repaired. When the headgear is worn the recommended number of hours, it will become more comfortable.

Loose Appliance Parts

If part of your appliance is poking you or you have a wire that is poking, put a bit of wax on the irritating part. You can also use a pencil eraser to push down a poking wire. Loose bands or brackets should be left in place until you can get to our office. If the piece is easily removed, put it in a plastic bag or envelope, and bring it to your appointment. Wax can be used to cushion abrasive parts.

A loose wire can be moved back into place with needle-nose pliers or a pair of tweezers. You can also use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place. Do this by tying the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If the wire cannot be put into a comfortable position, put a bit of wax on the end. If the wax does not help, you can use a small fingernail clipper to remove the bit of wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. Add wax to the wire end if it is still sharp.

Regardless of the problem, be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible so proper repairs can be made to your appliance.

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22610 US Highway 281 North, Suite 201
San Antonio, TX 78258


(210) 494-4606

Opening Hours

Monday - Wednesday 7:00AM – 4:30PM
Thursday 7:00AM – 4:00PM
Lunch Time 12:30PM - 1:30PM

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