Orthodontic Emergencies


What to Do in Case of Emergency

Call our office as soon as possible if you break or loosen any of your appliances. Please do not come directly to the office – by calling us, you will allow us to create a time to see you. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, call us immediately to notify us if you need an appliance repaired.

Discomfort with Orthodontic Treatment

During the first week after your braces are in place and routine adjustments are complete, you will likely feel some pain, soreness or discomfort. You may take acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers while you adjust to your new braces. A warm washcloth or heating pad may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

Loose Bracket

A loose bracket is not an urgent emergency but it does need attention. If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it for comfort if needed. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and call the office during regular business hours to set up an appointment to replace it.

Loose or Poking Wire

Using a pair of tweezers or needle nose pliers, try to put your wire back into place. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, call the office and you will be advised how to handle the loose wire.

Food Choices

We understand that accidents happen. However, for the most part, breakage of wires and braces is related to poor food choices or inappropriate use of the teeth (chewing pens, fingernails, or mouth-guards, for example). Therefore, if orthodontic emergencies occur on a regular basis, we reserve the right to charge a fee for “emergency” repairs.

Please note:
We do schedule our orthodontic emergency appointments in the morning and early afternoon. Please always call the office for an appointment. If the problem is significant and cannot be addressed with the tips found in this flyer, there is always a pediatric dentist on call after hours.



Rinse the mouth vigorously with warm water to clean out debris. Use dental floss to remove any food that might be trapped between teeth. If swelling is present, place cold compresses on the outside of the cheek. (Do not use heat or place aspirin on the aching tooth or gum tissues.) Contact our office as soon as possible.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If the tooth is dirty, rinse it gently in running water. Do not scrub it. Gently insert and hold the tooth in its socket. If this is not possible, place the tooth in a container of milk or cool water. Contact our office immediately. (Treatment needs to be done within 30 minutes, if possible). Don’t forget to bring the tooth.

Broken Tooth

Gently clean dirt or debris from the injured area with warm water. Place cold compresses on the face, in the area of the injured tooth, to minimize swelling. Contact our office immediately.

Bitten Tongue or Lip

Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area with a clean cloth. If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. If bleeding does not stop, go to a hospital emergency room.

Objects Wedged Between Teeth

Try to remove the object with dental floss. Guide the floss carefully to avoid cutting the gums. If not successful in removing the object, contact our office . Do not try to remove the object with a sharp or pointed instrument.

Possible Fractured Jaw

Immobilize the jaw by any means (handkerchief, necktie, towel). If swelling is present, apply cold compresses. Contact our office or go immediately to a hospital emergency room.

24 Hour Emergency Care

Because we are concerned about your child’s dental health, we have a dentist on call after hours seven days a week. Should you need emergency care, and you are a patient of record, just call 586-286-0700 & you will be directed as to how to reach our doctor on call.

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