Orthodontic Emergencies | Orthodontic Treatment Launceston | Scott Smith Orthodontics

Orthodontic emergencies

Orthodontic emergencies

At Scott Smith Orthodontics, we pride ourselves on using specialist equipment and the latest orthodontic technology to achieve the straightest teeth possible for our patients. 

There is also a risk that part of your appliance may become damaged or break. Below are some of the problems that can occur while wearing braces, and what you should do to fix them. 

Archwire scratching cheek

What is it? Braces use brackets and archwires to straighten your teeth. The archwires thread through these brackets and sometimes, as your teeth straighten, the archwire can extend past the back of your teeth, scratching your cheek.

What should you do? When you are fitted with braces, we will give you some orthodontic wax. This can be rolled up and placed over any part of your brace that is rubbing against your cheek. Use this wax to fix the problem temporarily and ring us. You'll need to come in for an appointment so we can cut the archwire to size. 

Archwire has broken

What is it? If you are wearing braces, there are some foods you'll need to avoid as they can damage your braces, potentially breaking the archwires that connect the brackets on your teeth.

What should you do? You will need to ring us immediately to book an appointment so we can replace the archwire. While you wait to come in and see us, place some orthodontic wax over the end of the archwire to stop it from poking into your cheek.

Archwire has popped out

What is it? We use a type of braces here at Scott Smith Orthodontics called self-ligating braces. These are technologically advanced to respond to the movement of your teeth, so there's no need to wear elastic bands. However, sometimes a bracket can pop open thus releasing the archwire. This usually occurs if you eat food you shouldn't be!

What should you do? We need to fix this for you. So, give us a ring to book an appointment and be sure to tell us over the phone what has happened. While you wait, use some orthodontic wax to place over the area.

Loose brackets

What is it? Brackets are the part of braces which are bonded to the front of your tooth. They're attached using special orthodontic glue, but it's not invincible. If you eat hard or sticky foods, or bite into a carrot or apple for example, a bracket could become loose or even fall off.

What should you do? Ring us! Your brackets need to be fitted to your teeth for your braces to work properly. While you wait to come in for an appointment, place some orthodontic wax over the bracket to try and hold it in position temporarily.

Bracket pops open

What is it? If you have been fitted with self-ligating brackets, these use a little gate that opens and closes over the archwire. Eating soft foods won't damage them, but eating hard foods could and you may find the bracket pops open.

What should you do? You may be able to solve this problem yourself by placing your fingers either side of the bracket. Be sure to put the archwire back into the slot. Then you'll need to use your other hand to push the gate closed. It can be quite fiddly but it is doable. However, if you're having any problems with it, just give us a call.

Orthodontic emergencies don't happen very often if you follow our advice on how to care for your braces. If you do experience any of the above problems, please let us know as soon as possible.

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  • Launceston
  • Ulverstone


Ortho practice in Launceston

19 Brisbane Street,
TAS 7250

Phone number

(03) 6331 7117


Ortho practice in Launceston

15 The Quadrant,
TAS 7315

Phone number

(03) 6331 7117