In Patient Blog

Emergency Care

During your treatment, you may encounter some care issues with your braces and/or appliances. To ensure that you remain comfortable throughout your treatment, we have listed the most common issues and their solutions below. Simply click on your situation to learn how to solve the issue at home.

TIP: Apply dental wax to brackets that are irritating your cheeks or gums.

Broken Appliances

Please call the office at 604-261-8890 to schedule an appointment to have your appliances checked as soon as possible.

Broken Brace

The most common cause of a broken brace is eating hard and sticky foods. If a brace breaks off a tooth, it can be left there if it’s not too uncomfortable. If your next scheduled appointment is some time away, call the office at 604-261-8890 to schedule an earlier appointment to have the broken brace fixed.

Broken Wire

Eating hard or sticky foods may cause a wire to break. If this happens, take a pair of washed and sterilized nail clippers and cut the wire as close as possible to the next brace it is attached to.

Loose Appliances

As your teeth move, your appliances or retainers may feel ‘loose.’ Call the office at 604-261-8890 to schedule an appointment to have your appliances readjusted as soon as possible.

Loose Wire/Wire Out of a Brace

If a wire comes out of the brace, simply reinsert the wire into the brace using a pair of tweezers. If the 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. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you on your next appointment.

Loss of a Spacer/Separator

If a spacer falls out, it can be replaced very easily.

Step 1: Thread a piece of dental floss through the center of the spacer
Step 2: Double the floss back on itself. Repeat this with one more piece of floss and hold one piece of floss on either side of the spacer.
Step 3: Slide the floss between the teeth where the spacer has come out.
Step 4: Pull the spacer through the contact.
Step 5: Keep a finger on top of the newly placed spacer. Gently pull the floss pieces out of the mouth.

Still having troubles? Don’t worry, we can help! Call the office today at 604-261-8890 to schedule a quick appointment to have your spaces reinserted.

Pokey Wire

As the teeth move, it is possible for the wire to protrude or poke out from the back braces. This problem can be solved by taking a nail clipper and snipping the wire as close as possible to the back braces. Placing some wax on the pokey wire may also ease this sensitivity.

Sharpness Felt on the Tongue Side of a Brace

The tongue side of a back brace may feel sharp. This may be caused by the rubber band attachment on the brace. Try solving this problem by taking a spoon and push the rubber band attachment back in toward the brace.


For the first 3-5 days after the initial placement of braces or following an adjustment, your teeth may be sore and tender. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. To create a salt water mouthwash, dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously.

If the tenderness is intolerable, an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil or Tylenol may be helpful in alleviating this initial soreness.

Emergency Appointments

If you do not see your care issue, or are experiencing pain, please call the office at 604-261-8890 to schedule an emergency appointment. Dr. Loo and Dr. Yen may also be reached by our patients after business hours in the case of an orthodontic emergency that may need immediate assistance before the next business day.

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