Problems with orthodontic appliances are rarely true emergencies.  Most common problems can be addressed at home with the care advice below.


During office hours patients who are experiencing problems can contact a receptionist on 01865 370375.  She can advise if an unscheduled appointment should be made.  We recommend all our patients adhere to the diet and are advice we give so as to minimize the risk of problems and need for unscheduled appointments.  Below are some problems patients may experience with suggestions on management.



It is common to experience some discomfort for a few days after appliances have been fitted.  Anti inflammatory medication that you would normally take for headache or pain tend to be very effective.  Adherence to a soft diet initially is also recommended.


Mouth Ulcers

Irritation from an appliance can cause or exacerbate existing ulcers.  Application of the non medicated relief wax we provide on the area or appliance causing irritation together with use of an antiseptic mouthwash has been found to be helpful.


Swollen/Bleeding Gums

This is usually caused by poor oral hygiene.  Follow the oral hygiene instructions you have been given and brush teeth well using inter-dental brush in areas difficult to access.

Protruding Arch Wire

Cover the protruding wire with relief wax provided and contact the practice if this does not provide relief.


Loose Brackets

Occasionally a bracket will come detached from a tooth but remains attached to the wire.  If the bracket is not causing discomfort, it can be addressed at the next scheduled visit.  If it is causing discomfort you can remove it at home in one of two ways:-

  • Use nail scissors to cut through the coloured elastic band that hold the broken bracket to the wire, then rotate the bracket off the wire and throw it away.
  • Alternatively, use a tweezers to hold the elastic band and gently remove band from bracket. Then rotate the broken bracket off the wire and dispose of bracket.


Broken/Lost Removable Appliance/Retainers

Contact the Practice to arrange an unscheduled appointment as soon as possible.


Loose or Broken Wires/Bands/Springs

If the broken component is not loose then cover with relief wax and schedule an appointment for a review.  If the component is loose then carefully remove with tweezers and schedule a review.



Allergic/Hypersensitive Reaction

The majority of patients who are sensitive to nickel can still wear nickel containing orthodontic appliances as it is bound within the stainless steel.  In rare instances there can be an allergic reaction with symptoms of burning sensation, metallic taste, swelling and soreness of the tongue.  In these cases contact the Practice immediately so arrangements can be made to remove the nickel components.



Broken Bonded RETAINER

Wear the removable retainer you were provided with full time and contact the Practice to make a repair appointment and bring any models you have of your teeth to the appointment.  Please wear your removable retainer to the appointment.