A Parent’s Guide to Dealing with Emergency Braces-Related Issues in Children 


Orthodontic treatment is important for improving children’s oral health and appearance. However, like with any medical operation, unanticipated complications may emerge. Broken wires, loose brackets, and other orthodontic emergencies can cause concern for parents. 

In this detailed guide, we will discuss frequent orthodontic concerns in children and present practical tips for parents to handle these situations until they can see their emergency dentist in Pearl City. 


Managing Orthodontic Emergency Situations with Children 

Common Orthodontic Issues 

Broken Wires: When a wire in braces breaks, it can cause pain and possibly oral injury. Children may develop irritation or sores because of a damaged wire. In such circumstances, parents must inspect the braces to determine the exact place of the break. 

What Parents Can Do: 

  • Encourage children to rinse their mouths with warm salt water to relieve discomfort. 
  • Cover broken or protruding wires with orthodontic wax to prevent further aggravation and infection. 
  • If the wire is embedded in the cheek or tongue, do not try to remove it. Instead, get professional help. 

Loose Brackets: A loose bracket may interfere with the alignment process, reducing the effectiveness of orthodontic treatment. This problem frequently arises when youngsters consume hard or sticky meals, which place additional strain on the brackets. 

What Parents Can Do: 

  • If the bracket remains attached to the wire, use orthodontic wax to fix it temporarily. 
  • If a bracket becomes detached, store it safely and return it to your orthodontic visit for reattachment. 

Poking or Protruding Wires: Wires can occasionally extend beyond the last bracket, causing discomfort and irritation to the cheeks and tongue. This issue may arise from natural tooth movements during the orthodontic process. 

What Parents Can Do: 

  • Gently press the protruding wire back into place with a cotton swab or pencil eraser. 
  • If the wire cannot be adjusted, apply orthodontic wax to protect the sharp edge. 
  • Schedule an appointment with an orthodontist to fix the issue and avoid additional discomfort. 

Discomfort and Soreness: Children frequently suffer soreness or discomfort, particularly following brace modifications. This ache usually diminishes after a few days. 

What Parents Can Do: 

  • Encourage the youngster to eat soft foods, avoiding crunchy or hard products that may cause discomfort. 
  • Orthodontists may offer over-the-counter pain medications to alleviate soreness and discomfort. 
  • Using a cold compress on the outside of the mouth helps reduce swelling and provides relief. 

Managing Irritation and Sores: Braces can cause inflammation and sores inside the mouth. This could be caused by the braces pressing against your cheeks or tongue. 

What Parents Can Do: 

  • To soothe the mouth, rinse with a warm saltwater mixture
  • Use orthodontic wax to hide sharp or rough edges that cause discomfort. 

Lost Spacers or Bands: Spacers or bands could become displaced or fall out. These components are critical to the overall outcome of orthodontic therapy. 

What Parents Can Do: 

  • Don’t try to change the spacer or band at home. Contact the orthodontist right away for advice. 

Broken Retainers: Retainers maintain the results of orthodontic treatment. If a retainer breaks or becomes damaged, address the issue promptly. 

What Parents Can Do: 

  • Keep the shattered pieces and consult your orthodontist to determine if quick replacement is necessary. 
  • Remind the child to wear the remaining retainer as prescribed by the orthodontist. 

Dealing with Allergic Reactions: In rare situations, children may experience an allergic reaction to the materials used in their braces, causing swelling or redness. 

What Parents Can Do: 

Maintaining Oral Hygiene with Braces: To avoid problems like cavities or gum disease, it is critical to maintain good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment. 

  1. If you experience an allergic reaction, contact your orthodontist immediately. 
  2. Seek medical treatment immediately if the reaction is severe. 

What Parents Can Do: 

  • To clean around brackets and wires, brush and floss thoroughly. 
  • Provide orthodontic-friendly cleaning instruments, including floss threaders and interdental brushes. 

Preparing An Orthodontic Emergency Kit 

A basic orthodontic emergency kit should be assembled to assist parents in dealing with orthodontic crises. This kit can be a useful tool, particularly when unexpected problems develop. Below is a list of items to include: 

  • Orthodontic Wax: This soft, moldable wax is a temporary option for hiding protruding wires or sharp edges, providing respite until a professional inspection can be performed. 
  • Cotton Swabs: These are used to gently press back protruding wires or apply orthodontic wax. 
  • Non-Prescription Pain Relievers: These can help with soreness and stiffness, as suggested by your orthodontist. 
  • Mirror with a Handle: A small mirror with a grip can help find specific orthodontic difficulties, such as loose brackets or broken wires. 
  • Sterile Tweezers: Sterile tweezers can assist in realigning a wire. Before using them, make sure they have been well-cleaned. 
  • Orthodontic Pliers: These specialist pliers are intended for modest modifications to braces. However, they should only be utilized if the orthodontist provides suitable guidelines. 

When to Seek Professional Help 

While parents can treat some orthodontic concerns temporarily, it is critical to understand when professional help is required. Parents should arrange an appointment with their orthodontist if: 

  • The child has considerable pain, distress, or bleeding. 
  • A broken wire gets lodged in the cheek or tongue. 
  • Several brackets are loose or removed. 
  • Discomfort remains despite at-home remedies. 

The Importance of Regular Orthodontic Check-ups 

Regular orthodontic check-ups are required to assess treatment progress and handle emerging problems before they become crises. Follow the orthodontist’s recommended appointment schedule. During these appointments, the orthodontic team can make any required adjustments, address issues, and check that the treatment plan is proceeding as intended. They can also schedule seminars on what to do during emergencies to increase dental awareness. 


Looking for an Emergency Dentist in Pearl City? 

Children’s orthodontic emergencies can be efficiently addressed with the proper information and resources. By identifying typical difficulties such as broken wires, loose brackets, and protruding wires, parents can take proactive actions to provide temporary relief until they can see their orthodontist. Additionally, creating a small orthodontic emergency kit might let parents handle minor concerns at home.  

Regular communication with Kidshine Pediatric Dental Group is essential for guaranteeing treatment success and the child’s general oral health. Contact us for more information!