Orthodontic Emergencies: What to Do When the Unexpected Happens

Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic treatment can be life-changing, but sometimes unexpected emergencies can arise, causing discomfort and concern. In this blog, we’ll discuss common orthodontic emergencies and provide you with essential tips on how to handle them. Being prepared for these situations will help you stay calm and take appropriate action when the unexpected happens.

What Are Some Common Orthodontic Emergencies?

  1. Broken Brackets or Wires
  2. Loose or Lost Ligatures
  3. Poking or Irritating Wires
  4. Mouth Sores and Ulcers
  5. Discomfort and Soreness

Immediate Steps to Take When Experiencing and Orthodontic Emergency

When faced with an orthodontic emergency, it’s crucial to respond promptly and appropriately. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Stay Calm and Assess the Situation: Keeping a cool head is essential in any emergency situation.
  2. Identify the Type of Emergency: Determine the specific issue to find the appropriate solution.
  3. Gather Necessary Tools: Having orthodontic wax, tweezers, and other essential items ready can be beneficial.
  4. Practice Proper Hygiene: Ensure your hands and mouth are clean before attempting any adjustments.

Step-By-Step Actions for Different Emergencies

  1. Broken Brackets or Wires:

    Safely use orthodontic wax to temporarily secure loose brackets or wires.

    • Learn how to handle protruding wires with care to prevent injury.
  2. Loose or Lost Ligatures:
    • Use tweezers to reattach ligatures securely.
  3. Poking or Irritating Wires:
    • Apply orthodontic wax to the bothersome area for immediate comfort.
    • Learn how to bend the wire gently to avoid further irritation.
  4. Mouth Sores and Ulcers:
    • Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution for relief.
    • Consider over-the-counter solutions to manage discomfort temporarily.
  5. Discomfort and Soreness:
    • Over-the-counter pain relievers can help ease mild discomfort.
    • Applying cold compresses can reduce swelling and soreness.

Preventative Tips to Minimize Emergencies

Prevention is better than cure, so consider these tips to minimize the likelihood of emergencies:

  • Adopt proper oral hygiene practices to maintain good dental health.
  • Be mindful of what you eat, avoiding hard and sticky foods that can damage braces.
  • Avoid harmful habits such as chewing on pens or pencils.
  • Schedule regular orthodontic check-ups for proactive care.


Orthodontic emergencies can be nerve-wracking, but with the right knowledge and preparation, you can handle them with confidence. Remember the immediate steps to take, the solutions for different emergencies, and when to seek professional help. By following prevention tips and creating an emergency kit, you’ll be better equipped to handle any unexpected orthodontic situation. Stay informed, stay prepared, and thank you for being a part of our community. We encourage you to schedule a consultation. We can’t wait to help you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted, and hope to see you soon!