Caring For My Braces: Emergencies

As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, broken wire or something sticking out that you can’t take care of. It’s important to know the names of your parts of your appliances. It will help when you phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place. Refer to the diagram below for more detailed information.
Use dental wax to cover any sharp edges of the bands,brackets or wire ends that may irritate your lips, cheeks or tongue. If irritation is severe, please call for an appointment.

If the end of the initial archwire comes out from the molar tube and is poking onto your cheek, please do any of the following:
(1) reinsert the end of the flexible archwire back onto any of the openings on the molar tube,
(2) use a wire cutter to cut the archwire where it’s poking into you and call for an emergency appointment or
(3) use wax to adapt the wire onto the teeth and call for an emergency appointment.

If Bite Blocks Are Inserted

Bite blocks (made of composite material) inserted onto the biting surfaces of the first molars or the upper teeth are meant to prop up your bite. Usually it is because your bite is very deep or your teeth are biting onto the brackets. It is only needed on a temporary basis until your bite is opened.
If the bite blocks are dislodged accidentally, you will need to call for an appointment if you are biting onto your brackets. Otherwise, you may not need to have them reinserted. Remember, if you have an emergency, always call ahead of time. This allows us to block off plenty of time for Dr. Chay to repair the problem. If you just show up with no appointment, we made not be able to see you. We schedule our patients according to the procedure that needs to be done.


Should be reported within 24 hours. Please call for an appointment to have it replaced


Changing or canceling an appointment is not an emergency. A message can be left on the answering machine if you need to call after office hours. You will be called back on the next office day.
1. Band: metal ring fitted around teeth
2. Brackets: Small attachments cemented directly on tooth’s surface
3. Archwire: Main wire that acts as a track to guide the teeth along. It is changed periodically throughout treatment
4. Tie wires (ligature): Fine wires that act as track to guide the teeth around the teeth around each bracket to hold the archwires in place
5. Elastic ligatures: Tiny rubber bands used like wire to hold archwires in the brackets 6. Elastics: Rubber bands of various sizes that are hooked between different points on the appliance to apply pressure to move the teeth
7. Headgear tubes: Round hollow attachments also on the back bands
8. Buccal tubes: Hollow attachments also on the back bands, which hold archwires in place