Orthodontic Emergency

Derry Orthodontic Emergency Care

Ensuring Your Teeth Are in Excellent Condition

Our team at Haas Dental Associates has provided recommendations for a variety of common dental issues.

Food Caught Between Teeth

Food and debris that is lodged between teeth can cause discomfort and sometimes significant pain, but once it is removed the area will quickly recover. To remove food, it is recommended to use floss, an interproximal brush, or a toothpick. When using floss try tying a knot in the middle of the floss and sliding that knot through the problem areas. Don’t be surprised if gums bleed when the debris is removed initially. It will quickly stop and the area will feel sore but significantly better.

Mouth Sores

Mouth sores can be common for some. For those who are susceptible to getting them, you may experience more pain than normal due to the irritation from braces. Sores can occur on the cheeks, lips, or tongue. For pain relief from mouth sores, it is recommended to use a small amount of topical anesthetic. Topical anesthetics such as Orabase or Ora-Gel can be placed on the sore using a cotton tip and reappled when needed.

Loose Brackets, Wires, or Bands

It is recommended to call our office if any part of the braces become loose. Parts of braces include: Brackets, wires, bands brackets that are adhered to the center of each tooth using a special adhesive. Brackets can become loose from eating hard crunchy foods, the mouth being struck while at play, or the adhesive may have failed. If a bracket has turned or rotated and you cannot be seen immediately by the orthodontist, you can put the bracket back in place temporarily. To do this, use sterile tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire until it is back in the correct position. Rotate the bracket back into position if needed. Wires run through the brackets and are held onto the teeth with the bracket. If a wire feels loose, it could be due to a loose bracket or if the ligature to secure the wire has been lost. It’s advised to call your orthodontist if you believe your wire is loose.

Bands are usually only around the back teeth and look like a silver ring around the tooth. Bands can become loose from crunchy foods or failed adhesive. You can push a loose band back into place and call your orthodontist.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

It’s not uncommon to experience irritation or your lip or inside your cheeks especially when new braces are placed. To help ease the discomfort from the irritation, it is recommended to use a small amount of non-medicinal relief wax. The wax acts as a cushion between your braces and area of irritation. Roll a pea-sized ball of the wax, squish the ball, and put it over the part of the braces that is causing the discomfort. You can eat with the wax in place and the wax is completely safe if swallowed accidentally.

Ligatures Come Off

Ligatures are the small rubber bands or wires that hold the main wire to the bracket. If the rubber ligature comes off, it’s possible to put it back using sterile tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, you can either remove it with sterile tweezers or bend it down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser. If a ligature is missing you could contact your orthodontist to see if there is a need for the patient to be seen immediately.


Unfortunately, it’s normal for a patient to experience discomfort with braces. Discomfort can come from having braces on for the first time or adjustments made to the braces. It’s important to understand that this type of discomfort is temporary. Soft foods are recommended during this time of discomfort and rinsing with warm salt water can be helpful.

Protruding Wire

Sometimes the end of a wire can come out of place and cause irritation to the soft tissue in the mouth.

To alleviate the discomfort you could try:

  • Contact your orthodontist
  • Using a Q-tip or pencil eraser to push the wire back in place
  • Use relief wax to cover it
  • Last resort: to clip the wire using sterile sharp clippers to snip off the extended wire, placing gauze or tissue under the wire to catch the piece of wire being snipped off.

Piece of Appliance Is Swallowed

Sometimes a piece of appliance can be swallowed accidentally. It’s a rare occurrence, and if it does happen, the first thing to remember is to remain calm. Assess the situation and determine if the piece could have been aspirated.

Excessive coughing and having difficulty with breathing is a sign that a piece could have been aspirated. Look inside their mouth to see if the piece is visible. If something is visible carefully try to remove the item, but being careful not to try and do something that would cause them harm.

If you believe a piece has been aspirated notify your orthodontist immediately.

If you have any questions about an orthodontic emergency in Derry, contact Haas Dental Associates at (603) 635-4137 today.

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  • Derry
  • Dover (pediatric only)

Phone Number

(603) 434-1586


4 Manchester Avenue
Derry, NH 03038

Office Hours

Monday - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesday - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Thursday - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Friday - 8:00am to 4:00pm

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July 1st to August 31st

Open Fridays - 7:30am to 3:30pm

Phone Number

(603) 635-4137


750 Central Ave B
Dover, NH 03820

Office Hours

Monday - 8:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesday - 7:00am to 4:00pm
Friday - 7:00am to 4:00pm


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Call us at (603) 434-1586 for our Derry location, (603) 635-4137 for our Dover location, or send us a message using the form below.
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Haas Dental Associates

Why Choose Us?
  • Board Certified Pediatric Sedation Experts
  • Family-Like Environment Where All Ages Are Welcome
  • Highly Trained Team Working Together For Over 40 Years
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