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Instructions for Orthodontic Emergencies

Orthodontic emergencies are rare but can be a cause of concern. If you experience an after-hours orthodontic emergency between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekdays and 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on weekends, please call 720-541-0600. Leave a detailed message including your name, the patient’s name, the nature of the concern, and a phone number where you can be reached, and our assistant on call will return your call within the hour. If you experience an emergency after 8:00 p.m., please go to the nearest emergency room.

Sore Teeth: Soreness of your teeth or jaw is normal, especially after an active orthodontic adjustment or when you change to a new clear aligner. To aid and/or reduce discomfort, we recommend acetaminophen or ibuprofen, whichever you take if you have a headache. Soreness may be relieved by rinsing with warm salt water.


Wax and/or Gishy-Goo™ Pencil

Sterilized fingernail clippers Orabase®

In case of pokey wires:

  1. Use a pencil eraser to push the wire towards the tooth and out of the way.
  2. For sore cheeks and lips, pinch off a small piece of wax or Gishy-Goo, roll into a ball, apply to bracket or wire and press down, molding wax around bracket.
  3. If wire continues to cause problems, it can be clipped. For small wires, close to the front of the mouth, use the clippers to clip the wire as close as possible to the bracket. A pokey wire in the back will probably require wax, Gishy-Goo, and an appointment at the office.

In case of loose springs:

  1. You may attempt to rewind the spring back onto the wire.
  2. If unable to rewind the spring, use the clippers to cut the portion of the spring hanging from the wire.

Place spring in an envelope and bring with you to your next appointment.

In case of loose band or bracket:

  1. Loose brackets may be bothersome but are not considered an emergency. Place a piece of wax over the bracket or remove the bracket from the wire by clipping the color tie, then call the office to schedule a repair appointment.

In case of lost separator:

  1. Please come to your next appointment 30 minutes early so we may replace the separator prior to placing a band.


  1. Use as directed for sore gums and cheeks.