Braces Emergencies

Braces Emergencies

Troubleshooting Your Braces Emergencies

A true braces emergency is rare. However, minor mishaps can happen. Thankfully, you can usually handle the issue at home until you’re able to get in for an appointment. In the case of a broken braces bracket or a poking wire, give our office a call at (858) 613-3688 (San Diego) or (858) 255-7800 (Rancho Santa Fe) and we’ll schedule you for a repair appointment right away with 4S Ranch orthodontist Dr. Melanie. In the meantime, we’re sharing some tips on how to make yourself comfortable:

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General Soreness

Do braces hurt? No. You should never feel real braces pain but your teeth and gums can be tender and a tiny bit sore for the first few days after you get your braces put on and following adjustments. To combat the discomfort, eat soft foods and enjoy cold drinks until the tenderness subsides. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever (whatever you’d take for a headache). A saltwater rinse is helpful for some patients too. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Swish it around in your mouth and then spit it out. You can repeat this as often as needed.

Poking Wire

If your braces wire is poking you in the cheek and it hurts, gently use a clean cotton swab or the eraser end of a new pencil to push it against the nearest tooth and out of the way. You can cover it with relief wax to stop any irritation. Sometimes, a long piece of wire will be left behind if a braces bracket comes off. If pushing it out of the way doesn’t help, you can very carefully clip the excess wire with nail clippers that have been cleaned and sterilized in alcohol. Again, you’ll probably want to use wax to eliminate any irritation. If you call our office, we’ll schedule you for an appointment to fix it.


When you first start braces treatment, the brackets and wires can irritate your cheeks and lips. It takes a few weeks for your mouth to toughen up and acclimate to your appliance. Swish a saltwater rinse (one teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water) around in your mouth and then spit it out. You can also cover the parts of your braces that are bothering you with orthodontic relief wax. Simply break off a tiny piece of wax, roll it in between your fingers to warm it up and then place it on your braces.

Loose or Broken Bracket

If you have a loose or broken bracket, don’t panic. If the bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it where it is. Very gently push it back to its proper place and then cover it with a piece of wax. If the bracket pops off and the wire comes out, take the bracket out of your mouth being careful not to swallow it. Give Dr. Melanie Orthodontics a call so we can get you in for a repair appointment.

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