Wearing any orthodontic device can be a bit unpleasant; for instance, wearing braces will for sure cause some discomfort, but that can’t be classified as an orthodontic emergency. What exactly is an orthodontic emergency, and how to differentiate it from regular discomfort?

In the following article, you will find out what is ranked as normal and what is an emergency when wearing orthotics.

What Constitutes As An Orthodontic Emergency?

First, it is important to know what level of pain and soreness is normal during your orthodontic treatment. These treatments are not always uncomfortable, but there will be times when your mouth, jaw, and teeth will feel sore and tender.

Most likely, this will happen when your braces are applied for the first time. You will need some patients during this period since your teeth and mouth will need some time to adjust to the braces. Your teeth will feel tender, and the braces will irritate the inside of your cheeks and lips in the first few days.

Do not fret; it won’t be long before your mouth grows accustomed to the braces, and all the soreness and pain will go away. 

Also, you will always feel discomfort after your adjustment appointments for braces, or in the case of Invisalign after the change of the set, and your teeth will need to adjust to the new position and the pressure yet again. This will pass very quickly.

These kinds of soreness, pain, and discomfort are not an emergency, and they are quite normal. To handle them, take over-the-counter pain medication, ice your face, or swish with salt water to bring down the inflammation.

As your teeth move, wires may start to poke the inside of your cheek; this is not an emergency case. The first thing you need to do is to use some bunt object to move the wire out of the way until you make an appointment at your orthodontist. He will then cut the excess wire and adjust it to fit perfectly. 

So what is ranked as an orthodontic emergency?

Orthodontic emergencies are cases when you’re in an intense amount of pain and swelling that can’t be handled with pain killers, ice, or saltwater. Also, an emergency is when your orthodontic appliance or braces broke down; if a wire is jabbing into your cheek and you can’t temporarily fix it on your own, pain and loose brackets.

Brackets tend to snap off no matter how hard they are glued to your teeth. Luckily wires will hold them in place, but this requires an orthodontist. 

In these cases, your orthodontist will make an appointment for you the very same day. Do not forget to ice the affected area to keep the inflammation under control while you wait for your appointment. In case when only a part of your orthodontic appliance or braces has broken off, try to find it and bring it along with you since it might be repaired instead of making a whole new appliance.

Tools You Can Use

Before you get your braces installed, make sure you have an in-home dental emergency kit and tools suggested by your orthodontist. Those are:

Although you should never fix your braces on your own, these tools can help prevent or alleviate problems before you can visit your orthodontist. This emergency kit must be secured in a place that won’t collect dust. Regularly clean the tools that you have used. Braces wax is often passed out to you by your orthodontists during your routine visits.

Preventing Emergencies

Accidents happen, and that is a fact; no matter how careful you are, there are still chances that some major emergencies can happen, such as falling or tripping, or you might play some sport and get punched. 

You should always wear a mouthguard when you are aware of the risk. To prevent minor issues, follow the advice your orthodontist gives you. This considers proper wearing and taking good care of the appliance. Avoid eating sticky food and hard food that can damage your appliance. Brushing your teeth regularly is crucial. 


Major orthodontic emergencies are rare, but they can happen to anyone. In these situations, it is important to stay calm and determine what exactly is causing the problem. You will be surprised to find out that most orthodontic emergencies can be solved at home on your own. 

In case you are experiencing severe pain and inflammations or your corrective appliance broke down, contact your orthodontic or Calgary dentist immediately.