Emergency Care

We will always be here in case of an orthodontic emergency, however, those don’t happen too often. If you have severe pain or think there is a problem with your appliance, your first action should be to call our office. We will then schedule an appointment with you to fix any issues.

Many of the issues you may come across are actually fixable by yourself until your appointment date. If you have a loose piece, place it in a baggie and bring it with you to your appointment. Soft wax can be placed on your wires if they are poking you, and if a wire has slid out of place, you may use needle-nose pliers to replace it in the tube on your back tooth.

Even if you temporarily fix the issue yourself, you should still call the office and make an appointment with us. We will be able to provide a more permanent fix for the problem. Allowing the issue to persist without coming in may cause problems with your treatment plan, so always remember to call us!

General Soreness Graphic

General soreness

Many patients get general soreness in their mouth after getting their braces put on. You may also have pain when biting down or chewing for several days after your braces have been put on. Sticking to a soft diet until your pain goes away is the best way to deal with this issue.

Irritated gums and sore spots are another common issue we see in patients. The best remedy for this is to rinse with warm saltwater. One teaspoon of salt per eight ounces of warm water is best. Orabase, which can be found in pharmacies, may also work when placed on the affected area.

For more severe tenderness in the mouth, you may choose to take over the counter medications such as Tylenol. If possible, avoid Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and Naproxen Sodium (Naprosyn, Anaprox), as these medications can actually slow teeth movement. However, if needed, any of these medications can be taken for discomfort. Always make sure to follow the instructions and dosages on these medications.

During the beginning of treatment, your lips, cheeks, and tongue will learn a new posture. It is normal for these areas to become irritated for a short amount of time. Putting wax on your braces will help lessen any discomfort, and we will show you how to apply it!

Headgear Graphic


If you aren’t wearing your headgear as instructed, there may be some discomfort. Make sure to refer to the instructions Dr. Dean has provided in order to ensure proper wear. If the facebow (the metal piece) is bent, you may call our office and we will assist you. The more you wear your headgear, the less it will hurt, so please remember to wear it for the number of hours you have been prescribed!

Loose Appliance Graphic

Loose appliance

If a loose appliance is poking into you and causing pain, add wax onto the part to lessen this discomfort.

Loose Bracket Graphic

Loose bracket

If you have a loose bracket that is still attached to the wire, do not try to remove it. Instead, put wax on it if it is causing discomfort. If the bracket is very loose and can be removed easily, place it in a baggie, and we will fix it during your next appointment.

Loose Wire Graphic

Loose wire

If you have a wire loose, you can try using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers to put it back into place. Floss may be used to tie the wire into place, by tying it around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring.

If you are unable to put the wire back into place, and wax is not enough to help with discomfort, your last resort would be to use fingernail clippers and clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is fastened. If the end of the wire is sharp, max may be placed over it. Always remember to contact us to make an appointment so that we can fix this issue!

Poking Wire Graphic

Poking wire

If you have a wire poking, a simple trick is to use a pencil eraser to push the wire down. You may also place wax on the wire so that it is no longer poking.