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Emergency &
At Home Fixes

In most situations, a broken appliance does not need immediate attention and temporary solutions can be handled at home.

Typical emergencies and how to solve them

An emergency that needs immediate attention is one causing pain. In this case, please call 843.293.3522 to make an appointment. In most cases, a broken appliance does not need immediate attention and you can handle the issue easily at home. For guidance, please review the following at home fixes.


Loose Or Poking Archwires


ISSUE: Sharp Wire

The brackets and wires may feel sharp, especially when your braces are new and your mouth is not used to feeling them.

FIX: Dry the area causing irritation (e.g. a bracket) and apply wax to cushion the area.


ISSUE: Wire irritation

FIX: Push the wire away from your mouth area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax or a cotton ball until you can see us for an adjustment.


ISSUE: Main Wire came out of the tube on the back tooth

FIX: Attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezers. If the wire is not ticking you or your child’s mouth, place a piece of wax over the area. As a last resort, if you annot come into our office, the wire can be cut with a small wire cutter or fingernail clipper lose to the back of the last brace.

Loose Brackets Or Bands


ISSUE: Loose bracket

FIX: If a bracket becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire. Tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation. Call our office and inform us of the problem


ISSUE: Broken braces

FIX: If a piece of your braces break, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.

Lost Separators


ISSUE: Rubber spacer or separator falls out

FIX: Try to place the separator back with floss. If you are unable to do so, call our office so that we can arrange to replace it for you. If it happens a day before your appointment to put on braces or bands, you do not need to do anything.

If You Swallow Something


ISSUE: Swallowed a piece of your appliance

FIX: Remain calm. It will usually go into the stomach and pass out of the body in the usual way. However, if difficulty breathing is experienced, you should seek immediate medical attention. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.

Broken Retainer


ISSUE: Retainer is cracked or broken

FIX: Remove the retainer from your mouth and bring all the pieces to our office for professional repair.

Sore Teeth Or Sore Gums


ISSUE: Soreness

FIX: Take ibuprofen (Motrin/Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) if your teeth are sore after your appointment. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS, PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE ANY HISTORY OF ALLERGIC REACTIONS. Minor irritations and canker sores will heal much more quickly if you apply Zylactin or Orabase according to the manufacturer's directions. You can purchase it over the counter at most pharmacies and convenience stores.


ISSUE: Stuck food

FIX: If food becomes stuck between your teeth, use dental floss or a proxy brush to dislodge the food.


ISSUE: Small cuts

FIX: If you cut your gums, tongue or the inside of your cheek, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes. Rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and half a teaspoon of salt can also be soothing. If the bleeding doesn't stop, call your family dentist or our office.