Orthodontic Emergencies

You may be able to temporarily solve problems by yourself until you are able to schedule a repair appointment at our office. Here are some typical issues and the solutions:

  • Lost separator:  Separators are elastics placed between your back teeth to make space for a band to be cemented around the molar. If a separator comes out, please call our office and we will decide if it should be replaced.  Sometimes the space has been created sufficiently and the separator may not be necessary.  Please note that the separator should always be visible at the chewing surface, sometimes making it difficult to eat and possibly making teeth sore.
  • Lost colored elastic ligature: the small, often colored, elastics that fit over the brackets can come off. Although this is not an emergency, please call us to arrange replacing it.
  • Loose Band or bracket: If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place. You will need to schedule an appointment so we can repair it.  If it is uncomfortable, place wax on it. If it comes out completely, please save it and bring it in with you. Always keep any device that comes loose and is removed from the mouth.
  • Poking wire: Try placing wax on the poky end. Sometimes a wire can be gently tucked out of the way with a pencil eraser. Call the office as soon as possible and we will make further arrangements if necessary.
  • Wire out of molar tube: Try putting the wire back into the tube with tweezers. Place wax over the area if it is uncomfortable. Call us for a repair appointment.
  • Shifted wire: Try to slide the wire back around to the other side. If it still sticks out, place wax on the poky end and call our office for a repair appointment.
  • Traumatic injury: In the case of a dental emergency, please contact our office as soon as possible.


These appliances are cemented on with a strong cement and cannot be removed until we purposely remove them.

  • The bands that secure these appliances can come loose. If this occurs simply push the band firmly toward the gums and call us to schedule and appointment to secure the band.
  • If any part of the appliance starts to poke or chip, please use wax on the rough areas and call us for a repair appointment.

Visit our Dental Bridge page to learn more about one of the cosmetic dentistry options we offer.

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