Most potential orthodontic urgencies can be managed at home. While there are steps you can take to temporarily fix or alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage, you should always contact Corinna St Orthodontics. It is likely that we can handle most issue over the phone or with the assistance of emailed photographs. For a true emergency, such as severe facial trauma, please go to a Hospital Emergency Department.

During your treatment, it is very important that you look after your orthodontic appliance to reduce the likelihood of problems occurring. Please ensure you:

  • Keep your teeth and gums properly cleaned and healthy as we have instructed.
  • Avoid hard and sticky foods to avoid breakages.
  • Continue to wear your elastics as prescribed

If you have any doubts about the care instructions you were given when your braces or other appliance was fitted, please phone us for clarification. You can handle the most common orthodontic urgencies at home with:

  • Orthodontic relief wax or ‘Extra’ chewing gum
  • Dental floss
  • Disinfected tweezers
  • Q-tips
  • Salt
  • Inter-dental brushes such as
  • Toothpicks
  • Over-the-counter pain reliever (Panadol preferred)
  • Teething Gel such as SM33 or Bonjela

Lost O-ring

‘O’rings are the tiny coloured rubber band (or sometimes a very thin wire ligature), that hold your orthodontic wire in the bracket/brace. If an o-ring should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it with tweezers. If the wire ligature is sticking out into your lip but is not loose, it can usually be bent back down with a fingernail, Q-tip or pencil end. Should this happen, be sure to contact us to come up with a repair plan.


It’s normal to have some discomfort during orthodontic treatment as your teeth move however it is unlikely to last longer than a couple of days. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt-water and over-the-counter pain relievers may alleviate some discomfort. If the discomfort lasts longer than a couple of days, be sure to call Corinna St Orthodontics to discuss.

Mouth Ulcers

Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth ulcers. While your braces do not cause the ulcers, they may be precipitated or exacerbated by an irritation from braces. One or several areas of ulceration of your cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency but can be very uncomfortable. Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of teething gel directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab – reapply as needed. If after a couple days the discomfort does not resolve, call Corinna St Orthodontics to discuss.

Irritation in Mouth

Sometimes braces or wires can be irritating to your mouth, especially when you are eating. A small amount of orthodontic relief wax makes an excellent buffer between your braces and your mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Dry the irritating part of your braces with a tissue, flatten the wax ball and place it completely over the part of your braces causing the irritation. Wax can be purchased at most pharmacies if you are unable to get some from Corinna St Orthodontics during this time. ‘Extra’ chewing gum makes an excellent substitute for wax.

Protruding Wire

Occasionally the end of a wire can work itself out of place and irritate the mouth. Use a Q-tip or clean tweezer and try to push the wire so that it is flat against your tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax. Should changes with your wires occur during this time be sure to contact Corinna St Orthodontics to make us aware of your issue.

Loose Braces or Bands

If your braces or bands have come loose in any way, call or email Corinna St Orthodontics to determine appropriate next steps.