Problems with orthodontics

Orthodontic appliances, the initial placement of braces, and periodic adjustments may cause temporary tooth discomfort. Braces, wires, and appliances can also displace or break. They can irritate your child's cheeks, gums (gingiva), or tongue. Very few orthodontic related problems require a visit to an emergency department or urgent care facility. These facilities are not normally equipped to repair orthodontic appliances or treat orthodontic related discomfort.

What to do

  • If braces or wires are irritating or cutting into a part of your child's mouth, use dental wax to cover the piece that is rubbing, and call the orthodontist to have adjustments made.
  • Do not try to clip any wires yourself.
  • Try to keep your child from rubbing the irritated area with their tongue to avoid further irritation.
  • If your child is experiencing pain, ask the orthodontist about pain management strategies that can be used prior to the appointment.
Author: Symbyos staff, go2dental staff
Medical review: Thomas J. Greany DDS
Last medical review: February 7, 2021
Last updated: February 9, 2021