Loose Band or Bracket

If a band or bracket comes loose from the tooth, call our office for an appointment. While a tight band or bracket actually protects a tooth from decay, a loose band or bracket may trap food that can cause tooth decay. If the band or bracket is still attached to a wire, leave it in place and apply wax if there is discomfort. If the band or bracket comes completely out, place it in an envelope and call for an appointment.

Broken Archwire

If the main archwire breaks (the one that goes all the way around the outside of your braces), call our office to schedule a time to fix the wire for you. If the wire is poking, place a large ball of wax on the wire so you are comfortable until able to see us to address the problem.

Loose Wire

When teeth begin to straighten, wires can sometimes shift and slide around. If your wire comes out of the back tube, then you may try to place the wire back into the tube. If unable to address the issue on your own, then place wax and notify your dental assistant at your next appointment. If you are in pain, then you may also call for an appointment.

Poking Wire

Sometimes a poking wire can be safely turned down so that it no longer causes you discomfort. Try to tuck the wire back in and out of the way with the blunt end of a toothbrush, or some other smooth object. If you are unable to take care of a poking wire, apply a large ball of wax and call our office for an appointment at the next available opening.

Lost Tie-wire or Elastic Tie

Around each brace is a small elastic tie (some are colored and some are clear) that holds the wire in place. Should one of these ties fall off the brace, please notify one of our dental assistants at your next appointment. This is not an emergency that requires immediate attention.

Although this is not an emergency that requires immediate attention, please notify one of our dental assistants at your next appointment.


Soreness during your first few days in braces is to be expected. Eating soft and cooler foods will certainly help with the initial discomfort. You may use a combination of Advil and Tylenol (provided you have no medical contraindications to these over-the-counter medications) to help with the initial soreness.

Accidents Involving Teeth

Contact our office immediately, or contact your general dentist.

Please remember: If you are involved in contact sports, a "braces-friendly" mouth guard can be fit over your braces for added protection.

AAO Info
American Board Ortho