You may encounter an issue or small emergency at some point during your orthodontic treatment. While true orthodontic emergencies are rare, having something unexpected pop up can be disconcerting. But don’t worry – most of the things that could happen during your treatment can easily be handled at home. Get advice on each concern below, and get in touch at (804) 735-0365 if you have any lingering questions!


While you should never be in pain during treatment, there may be some soreness or pressure. This is especially true after first getting your braces on and after adjustment appointments. We recommend taking an over-the-counter pain medication to relieve any pressure. Warm salt water rinses can also help. Your mouth will need a bit of time to get used to having the appliance in, so be patient. You can use orthodontic wax over any areas that are causing irritation while your mouth is getting used to it.

Feeling like your teeth are loose

This can be a strange sensation, but we promise it’s perfectly normal. In order to get to their new locations, your teeth have to first loosen from their current ones. We promise they won’t feel loose forever, though. Once your treatment is finished, you’ll wear a retainer. This will hold your teeth in place while your bone is regrowing around the teeth in their new locations. Your teeth will feel totally stable once treatment is complete.

Loose or Poking Wires

This can be annoying, but you can correct them temporarily until your next appointment. Use the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil to gently guide the loose wire back into place. If it is irritating your cheek, gums, or tongue, use a piece of orthodontic wax over the offending area.

Loose or broken brackets

The bonding material that holds the brackets in place can sometimes weaken. This is especially true if you don’t avoid the foods on the do not eat list. If a bracket loosens, you can take care of it until you’re able to visit our office. If the bracket is still attached to the wire, use orthodontic wax to hold it in place. If the bracket has come off completely, try to find the bracket and keep it until your next appointment.

Injury to your mouth

If you have an accident or suffer an injury to your mouth, be sure to check your mouth and appliance for damage. A blow to the mouth while in braces can cause cuts or abrasions to the inside of your cheeks, lips, and to your tongue. We recommend always wearing a properly fitting mouthguard when playing sports.

If you have any questions about how to handle a braces situation at home, don’t hesitate to text or call our office. We’re happy to walk you through the steps to help you confidently repair the situation on your own.