Some Orthodontic Emergencies require immediate doctor care.  Others may be taken care of at home.

Here are some guidelines:

Tools and Supplies

Most orthodontic emergencies can be handled with tools you likely have in your home.

  • Orthodontic wax (given to you the day the braces are placed)
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Proxy brushes (given to you the day the braces are placed)
  • Warm salt water for sores
  • Non-prescription pain reliever (Tylenol or Ibuprofen)

Lost Wire or Colored Band

Please call our office if you lose a wire or a colored band from a bracket.  Dr. Tomlin will advise whether you should be seen.


It is normal for a patient to have discomfort for one or two days after the braces have been adjusted.  This can make eating uncomfortable.  Please be aware that this is normal and temporary.  Soft foods may be needed until the discomfort subsides.  Tylenol or Ibuprofen is recommended to aid with discomfort.

Mouth Sores

Some patients may get mouth sores during orthodontic treatment.  To aid in the healing of mouth sores, orthodontic wax should be placed over the area of the braces near the sore.  This will stop the braces from irritating the sore.  Warm salt water rinses are also recommended to help the healing process of the sores.  Over the counter topical anesthetics such as Orajel or Kanka may relieve pain associated with mouth sores.

Protruding Wires

Occasionally the end of the wire will work itself out of place and irritate the mouth.  Orthodontic wax may be placed over the wire to relieve pain.  Fingernail clippers may be used to clip long wires.  Please make the orthodontist aware as the patient may need to be seen to relieve discomfort.