Emergency Info

Soreness Caused from Braces and Appliances

When you first get your braces or appliance, you may notice that your teeth feel sore and your lips and cheeks are scratched by the metal.  This is normal and will only last a short time.  Ibuprofen (ie Advil, Motrin) has been shown to be the most effective pain reliever for most orthodontic pain.  Please speak to Dr. Campbell for recommendations.  Orthodontic wax can be used to cushion rough areas of the braces while your mouth adapts.  If the wax is not sticking well, use a cotton swab to dry the brace before placing the wax.  If you have an open sore, rinse with a warm saltwater rinse (½ teaspoon of salt in 1 cup warm water) for 1 minute.   You can repeat this two to three times daily until the area heals.  Finally, a warm wash cloth or heating pad placed against your cheek may reduce the soreness in your jaws.

Loose Brackets, Wires or Appliance

Call our office immediately for advice if a bracket, wire, or appliance is loosened. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled, by letting us know in advance that there is a problem, we can reserve the extra time needed to repair the appliance. In the meantime, make yourself as comfortable as possible. Tweezers can be used to reposition a brace that has flipped on the wire and wax can be used to cover any rough areas. Damaged appliances add extra time to your orthodontic treatment, so be sure to review the list of foods and habits that are most likely to damage your braces.

Wire Irritations

Sometimes discomfort caused by a wire on your braces can be resolved by moving the wire away from the irritated area with a cotton swab or eraser. If the wire will not move, try covering the end of it with a small amount of wax or a small ball of cotton If the wire is painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call our office for an appointment.

Lost Separators

Many patients lose a separator during their treatment. Please call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.

Loose Teeth

If your teeth feel slightly loose during orthodontic treatment, don't worry - this is normal!  Your braces must first loosen your teeth in order to move them into the right position.  Once your teeth are aligned, they will no longer be loose. 

Sports and Braces

Many of our patients who wear braces are involved in some sort of sport or activity.  If you play sports, we recommend an orthodontic mouthguard to protect your teeth and your braces.  We have mouthguards available at the office, if needed.  If your teeth are injured while playing sports, call the office immediately so Dr. Campbell can do a full examination.


If your Invisalign tray is irritating your lip or causing discofort, simply use a new and clean nail file to smooth any rough edges.  If you find the soreness does not improve, please contact our office.