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Generally speaking, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have an uncomfortable appliance problem.  We will be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the issue ASAP.  Dr. Scramstad’s emergency number is on the office answering machine if you need to reach him outside of office hours.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office.  Knowing a few of these tricks could be very helpful if you are out of town or on holidays.  After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem.  Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:


Don’t stress if a wire or band comes loose, this happens occasionally. If the last brace breaks off (on the molar), and the remaining wire is sticking out, trim the end with a nail clipper or clean wire cutter if possible – this will work in a pinch if you are out of town.

If your loose bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it.  Sometimes, it is OK to leave the broken brace on the wire (if it doesn’t hurt) until the next visit, as all the other teeth are still moving.

If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax on the wire to reduce the annoyance.  Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances.  If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.


When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days.  If the tenderness is severe, consider taking a tylenol, or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.  Raw of irritated areas in the mouth can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater rinse.  Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces.  You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!


The first step is to place the ortho wax we provided on it to alleviate the discomfort.  If it is still bothering you, Use tweezers and try to place your wire back into place.  As a last resort, trim the end with a nail clipper or clean wire cutter behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened.  Again, call us if you can’t solve the problem.


If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the irritating part of your appliance.


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