Emergency Information

Although it’s rare, braces can cause minor dental and medical emergencies, requiring quick orthodontic action. Schedule a repair appointment with Rice Orthodontics if you experience:

Irritating Wires

Wires that touch your gums or the sides of your mouth may produce discomfort, pain, or swelling. If this happens, take an eraser or a cotton swab and try to move the wire away from the affected area. If you can’t move the wire, cover it with wax or cotton to prevent further irritation and schedule an appointment to get the wire fixed. If the pain is too great to wait for repair, sterilize a pair of nail clippers or small scissors in hot water and alcohol, and gently cut away the wire, taking care not to cut your teeth or gums.

Separator Issues

Separators are used to open up spaces between your back teeth, preparing them for braces or expanders. If your separator comes out, schedule an appointment to get a new one put in as soon as possible. The sooner you replace the separator, the easier and less painful the replacement will be.

Loose Equipment

If your brackets or wires become loose, call us immediately to ask if your braces need to be re-fitted. If the equipment is causing you pain or injury and you can’t wait to remove the bracket or cut the wires, do so with a sterilized pair of nail clippers. Visit our offices as soon afterward as possible so that we can put your braces back in working order and prevent further injury.


Sore teeth is a normal reaction to having braces installed or tightened. To reduce the soreness, rinse your mouth out with salt water or hold a heating pad or warm wash cloth to your jaw. You can use acetaminophen or other over-the-counter painkillers, but do not take aspirin. If pain persists for more than a few days, schedule an orthodontic inspection to ensure that there are no problems with your braces.