Loose, Broken or Poking Orthodontic Appliances

True orthodontic emergencies are rare, but when they occur we are available to you (day or night). As a general rule, you should call our office when you experience severe pain or have a painful appliance problem you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

In the event of an after-hours need, you can call or text our on-call phone at (402) 680-8392.

What to Do if You Have a Loose, Broken or Poking Orthodontic Appliance

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to solve many problems yourself temporarily until you can get to our office.

  • If there is a loose piece that you can remove, put it in a plastic bag or envelope and bring it with you to your next appointment.
  • If your braces are poking you, put soft wax on the piece that’s sticking out.
  • If the wire has slid to one side, you can pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, replacing it in the tube on the back tooth.

After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.

Additional Remedies for Orthodontic Problems


Poking Appliances During Orthodontic Treatment

Poking Appliance

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for one to two weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces or retainer. If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.


Loose Bracket During Orthodontic Treatment

Loose Bracket

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.


Loose Wire During Orthodontic Treatment

Loose Wire

Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.


Poking Wire During Orthodontic Treatment

Poking Wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.

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