Having an Emergency??

Emergencies may occur while undergoing orthodontic treatment.  A true emergency will require the assistance of the doctor.   If you are experiencing severe pain or bleeding, contact our office for assistance.  We will help you as soon as possible.

Something is Broken 'Poken' ;-(

Understanding What's Wrong

It’s important to know what the problem is so we can help you best.  Here is a list of terms of the most common parts of braces and orthodontic treatment:

The bracket is the metal square attached to the tooth. They can be clear as well.

The wire connects the braces together.  A broken or long wire may poke the cheeks or gums.






These colorful ties hold the wire to the braces.  They can break or pop off if the wires are bent out of place or stressed beyond their breaking point.

Clear Aligners incrementally move the teeth.  They can break, but more commonly are lost.


Palatal expanders typically do not break, but rarely, they can come loose.


These little expander swivel keys may be lost sometimes.

A fixed bite plate is attached to the UPPER teeth.  It may get food stuck under the plastic, or may “bounce” if it gets bent.

You will need to call and visit our office if something is loose or broken.  In the meantime we just need to buy some time to make things feel better.  The videos below may help:

It's Poking! Now what?

Place a small piece of wax (provided in your startup kit)  over the pokey wire or bracket.  The size of the wax should be at least the size of a pencil eraser.  This will provide comfort to the lip if irritation has occurred.  Try this to see if the irritation goes away in 2-3 days.

It's Broken! Now what?

A wire may pop out or break if hard or sticky foods are chewed.  In this case, wax may not stay in place.  If pain and bleeding are occurring, clip the wire using a wire cutter, or possibly a nail/cuticle cutter.  Don’t try to cut all the way to the back of the mouth.  You can clip the wire more toward the front, and remove the segment of clipped wire by sliding it forward.  You should call the office to schedule the next available appointment if you clipped and removed a poking wire.

It's Bleeding! Now what?

Most bleeding occurs when the gums are not cleaned effectively.  Brushing is important, but flossing specifically cleans between the teeth and under the gums!  If the gums bleed during brushing, this is not an emergency, but more effort must be put forth to improve hygiene.  Sometimes the gums may swell and bleed all of the sudden.  This usually indicates food debris is stuck under the gums.  Flossing, or the use of a Waterpik flosser will usually  eliminate the bleeding.  Don’t forget to floss, or use a Waterpik!

Still Not Sure What to Do?

We have many methods of communication.  Try our Quick Contact form, and you can send a picture of the problem!