Pain Management & Emergencies

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During orthodontic treatment, your mouth changes a lot. Knowing what to expect when you first start your orthodontic treatment can go a long way in making the process go more smoothly.


When you first get your braces on, you may feel discomfort in your mouth, and your teeth may be tender to biting pressures for a few days or up to a week.

You'll also likely experience some of the same kind of soreness after your adjustment appointments. 

This mild discomfort is normal, and can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. To make the wash, dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously.

If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

Your lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on braces braces to lessen this. We'll show you how!

Loosening of Teeth

 Your teeth will loosen as they shift, and this is to be expected throughout treatment. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new--corrected--positions.

Wires & Bands

Don't be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally.

If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire.

Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance.

Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.


As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is

  • a loose band
  • a broken wire
  • severe pain
  • something sticking out that you can't take care of

It's important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you phone your orthodontist's office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place.

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