First Aid

True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can't take care of yourself. We are happy to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

In the meantime, there are several things you can do to temporarily solve problems. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

General Soreness

When the braces are first placed, and after adjustments, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and the teeth will likely be tender to biting pressures for several days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take Tylenol or advil or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. Placing Orajel on the affected area may help; this can be found in a pharmacy. You can put wax or Gishy Goo on the braces to smooth over the rough surface, we will supply these products for you!


Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Usually the headgear hurt less as it's worn more, giving the teeth a chance to get used to the forces, so be sure you're getting in the prescribed hours.

Loose Appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax or Gishy goo on the offending part of your appliance.

Loose Bracket or Band

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it. If the bracket or Band comes out entirely, please place it in to a container and bring it with you to our office for repair.

Loose Wire

Using a tweezer, try to put your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax doesn't help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Poking Wire Tie, Poking Band Cleat

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire or cleat down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.