Covid 19 and Orthodontic Emergency Care

- April 19, 2020

Although major orthodontic emergencies are relatively rare, when they do happen it is important to seek immediate attention.

With Covid-19, seeing you in the office is difficult and so we are hoping this blog will help you navigate through minor orthodontic emergencies at home. Here are some guidelines to help you understand the difference between an orthodontic emergency and a minor issue.

Dr. Nizam is conducting virtual care visit with every patient who is going through any orthodontic emergency and resolving it virtually. Don’t hesitate to call, text or email us.


Acute, Direct Injury to the Mouth, Jaw, or Teeth Whether undergoing orthodontic care or not, if you injure your mouth, jaw, or teeth, you should contact us or your dentist immediately. You may need an X-ray to determine the extent of your injury. If the injury affects the orthodontic appliances, they will need adjustment or possibly replacement, depending upon the extent of the injury.

Infected Teeth

It is possible for teeth to become infected following orthodontic treatment. This may or may not be related to your orthodontic appliances. If you experience pain or swelling around a tooth that gets progressively worse, seek professional care as soon as possible. If the pain and swelling cannot be controlled with over the counter medication, please call our office or your dentist right away.


While true orthodontic emergencies are rare, minor issues are much more common. Here are some examples of minor orthodontic issues that can be remedied on your own and/or fixed at your next office visit:

  • Poking wire - You can slide your wire to the other side or add wax to the poking wire
  • Loose bracket - you can place wax on it so it does not move around or remove it all together.

Dr. Nizam can do a virtual care appointment with you to help with this.

  • Loose elastic band - Try to remove it and call us.
  • Loose wire - Try to cut with a small wire cutter or nail cutter.
  • Loose appliance - Call us
  • General soreness - Email us with your symptoms

Any of the above issues can happen as a result of normal usage, shifting, and wear of your braces. Eating unusually hard or sticky foods can cause or exacerbate these problems. Vigorous brushing of the teeth can also be a factor. None of these issues are emergencies unless they are accompanied by acute or prolonged pain or discomfort.

As for on-the-spot remedies, covering a loose bracket or wire with wax can be a quick fix to alleviate discomfort until your next orthodontist visit. Poking or protruding wires can be moved with a cotton swab or tweezers, or clipped down with nail clippers. Be sure to sterilize the tweezers or clippers in alcohol first. Cover any clipped wire ends with a small ball of wax.

Some soreness or small abrasions in the mouth are normal, especially with recent orthodontic work. Rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution comprised of eight ounces or warm water and one teaspoon of salt.