Emergency Information Some minor problems can occur during your orthodontic treatment. These can be sore teeth and swollen gums, bent wires and broken brackets or broken or lost retainers. Most broken brackets and bent wires can be prevented by following the diet restrictions we outlined in the Life with Braces section. However even with the best of care accidents can happen. If an emergency occurs in the evening or over the weekend, see the instructions below.

If a ligature is poking you, first try to bend it under the archwire with a little spoon or a pencil eraser. If you are unsuccessful, place a small piece of wax or wet cotton over it until you can get in for an appointment.

If a bracket or band is loose and still attached to the archwire, leave it in place. If it becomes uncomfortable, cover with wax and call for an appointment. If it falls out, bring it with you to your next appointment. Do not attempt to connect headgear or elastics to a loose band.

If the arch wire comes out of a tube, try to place the wire back into the tube with tweezers. Place wax if uncomfortable and call for an appointment.

If your teeth are sore after an orthodontic visit, take an analgesic as normally recommended. Another tip is to rinse your mouth with water with a little bit of salt dissolved in it. Plan soft foods for meals until the discomfort goes away -- which is usually 48 hours. If the discomfort gets progressively worse or remains the same after 4 days, contact your doctor.

If a part of your braces breaks, save the piece and call to set up a repair visit. If a retainer breaks, do not try to repair it yourself. Call your doctor to repair or replace it.

If you notice some small spaces developing between your teeth while you have braces on, don't panic! This is usually normal and expected as teeth move into different positions, particularly in the early stages of treatment. They will be closed eventually. If you experience any bleeding when brushing or flossing, that usually means there is a local area of infection. Continue to keep the area clean by brushing, flossing. If a particular area is painful or you notice a bump of any sort, you should address this to your Orthodontist as soon as possible.