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After Hours Care

What To Do When You Need Care After-Hours

It seems like an unwritten rule that things happen on weekends or at night. Perhaps a bracket comes off or a wire becomes loose or causes irritation, and you wonder if it can wait until business hours or if it’s really necessary to see us right away. We understand!

Below is a list of things that, though uncommon, can happen, as well as some helpful tips for how to handle them at home. If you try these and still feel you need our help, all you have to do is call the office. We’re always monitoring our calls and will get back to you as quickly as we can. If you are enrolled in one of our remote monitoring programs, Dental Monitoring or Grin, please call us and send an updated scan so we can review and provide the best answer for any question or concern you may have.

Poking Wire

Early on in your orthodontic treatment, the wires are flexible and easy to clip if causing discomfort. If your wire is sticking out and poking your cheek, you can get a pair of fingernail clippers and cut the wire, then pull any extra wire out with tweezers. We’re always happy to see you when the office is open but this could save you a trip.

Sores From Wires or Brackets

It is normal to experience sores from the brackets and/or wires, especially at the beginning of treatment when your mouth is getting used to the appliances. You can use wax on the bracket or wire that is causing the sore, however, we recommend a warm salt water rinse, and minimizing wax usage so your mouth gets acclimated.

Loose Brackets

If the bracket or band is still attached to the wire, it is ok to leave it where it is. If it is irritating, cover it with wax. If you don’t have the wax we gave you at the start of treatment, any drug store has wax in the dental section. During regular business hours, please call us so that we can determine if we need an additional visit for a repair or if we can fix it at your next appointment without affecting your treatment length. We value your time!

Please remember to SAVE YOUR BRACKETS and bring them to the appointment. Since our brackets are top of the line, they last a long time even when they separate from the tooth.


The brackets that we use have doors to keep the wire in place, if you opted to get single colors this is purely cosmetic. If they fall off we can replace them at your next visit. We use powerchain (connected colors) to close spaces. If your powerchain breaks and you're at the end of treatment, we want to see you soon to ensure all your spaces are closed for removal.

Wire Shifted or Rotated

Try to slide the wire back around. If it continues to poke you, put some wax over it and call the office for an appointment during normal business hours.

Elastic Troubleshooting

Braces patients: if one of the hooks breaks that the elastic is connected to, you can place it on using the hook next to it, as long as it resembles the original pattern.

Aligner patients: If the plastic hook breaks on your aligner, you can resume elastics in your next aligner. If the metal hook breaks, please take a dental monitoring scan to see if we need to make an appointment to fix the hook.

Difficulty Removing Aligner

Removing your aligners at first is a challenge, but it is best to develop a technique that doesn’t involve additional tools as that’s one more thing to keep track of. For the upper aligners, release it first on the inside (tongue side) in the molar region on both sides. Then pull from the outside (cheek side) more anteriorly to pop it out.

For the lower aligner, release from the outside (cheek side) in the molar region on both sides. Then pull from the outside more anteriorly. If you cannot master this, let us know! We are happy to provide you with an aligner hook at any time.

Loose Appliances

If an appliance falls out or becomes loose, please call our office. If an appliance is off, please keep it and bring it in to repair at the next appointment.

Lingual or Bonded Retainer Issues

If a glue pad is off, or the permanent retainer is off completely, please wear your clear retainer every night versus a few nights a week. If you do not have a clear retainer please call our office so we can get you in before possible teeth shifting. If the permanent retainer has come off completely, please bring it with you to your repair appointment as it is bent specifically for your teeth.
NOTE: Depending on how long you have been out of treatment, there might be a fee for repair/ replacement*

Tooth Soreness From Braces

It’s normal to have a little discomfort for up to two weeks after braces are put on or adjusted at future appointments. It’s not an emergency, but it can be uncomfortable, especially when trying to eat. Eating soft foods for a couple of days may help. Examples are soups, yogurt, ice cream, and macaroni and cheese. Over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help as well.