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Braces Emergencies

True braces emergencies are extremely rare, but minor mishaps can occur. Here’s how to troubleshoot any braces problems you encounter during your treatment.


You should never feel severe braces pain at any point in your treatment. If you do, call our Voorhees orthodontic office right away. However, when you first get your braces on, your teeth and gums may be a little sore and tender, especially to biting pressure. This usually lasts about three to five days.

To manage soreness, eat a soft foods diet until discomfort subsides. Yogurt, mashed potatoes, smoothies, protein shakes, and scrambled eggs are all good options. If the soreness is really bothering you, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), as needed.

Loose or Broken Braces Bracket

Because LightForce brackets are custom-made for your teeth, they’re less likely to break or come loose. But if it does happen, thankfully, it’s an easy fix. If the broken bracket is towards the back of the mouth and you’re able to easily slide it off the wire, remove it and put it in an envelope to bring with you to your next appointment.

Otherwise, carefully move the loose or broken bracket back into position. Dry it off with a piece of tissue or sterile gauze. Then, cover it with your orthodontic relief wax to hold it in place. Give our office a call, and we’ll let you know if you need to come in for a repair appointment or if you can wait for your next scheduled visit.

Mouth Injury

If you sustain a mouth injury, carefully check to see if your teeth or braces are damaged. If you can’t stop the bleeding or suspect you have a broken jaw, go to the emergency room. If a tooth is knocked out or displaced, head to your dentist. They can often reimplant or stabilize your tooth within the first few hours of the injury.

Once the immediate situation is under control, call our office. We may need to schedule you for an appointment to repair your braces. While you’re waiting for your visit, cover any parts of your braces that are causing discomfort with orthodontic wax. You can also swish with a saltwater rinse to soothe abrasions.

Braces Irritation

For a week or two after getting your braces put on, your appliance might irritate your lips, cheeks, and tongue. Once your mouth acclimates to your braces and “toughens up,” irritation will go away.

In the meantime, try swishing with a saltwater rinse a few times per day. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water. Swish it around your mouth and then spit it out, repeating until the mixture is gone.

If there are particular parts of your braces that are irritating your mouth, use your braces wax. Break off a small piece of wax, roll it in between your fingers to warm it up, and flatten it against the offending area of your appliance. It will act as a buffer between your braces and the soft tissues of your mouth.

Poking Braces Wire

If one of your braces wires is poking you, which can happen if it comes loose or a bracket breaks, use the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a new pencil to gently push the wire down. If you need to, cover it with braces wax to prevent irritation.

If you can’t move the wire into a comfortable position, as a last resort, you can use a sterilized pair of nail clippers to carefully cut the excess wire. Again, cover what’s left with wax to stop poking. In either case, call us and let us know about the situation.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth feel slightly loose during your braces treatment, don’t panic! Believe it or not, it’s actually completely normal. The pressure exerted from your braces causes changes in the tooth-supporting bone and ligaments. These changes are what allow the teeth to move where we direct them. Once your teeth are in their correct places, they’ll be secure and will no longer feel loose.