So, you’re used to a little discomfort from your braces. That’s completely normal – a poking wire, tight wire or a little jaw discomfort. But in the case that you think you’re experiencing an orthodontic emergency—which, thankfully, are rare—we have a few key points we suggest you keep in your back pocket.

First, evaluate if you’re experiencing a major emergency. There are few orthodontic emergencies, which are:

  1. Infection of the gums, mouth, or face. You may experience some swelling, pain and redness in this case. You may also develop a fever.
  2. Serious trauma or injury to your mouth, face, or teeth.
  3. Debilitating, unmanageable pain in your mouth, face, or teeth.

If you experience any of these symptoms or issues, you should seek help as soon as possible. It may be your best option to head to the emergency room if it is a result of trauma or you are having trouble breathing. Otherwise contact your orthodontist, family dentist or Emergency Dental Service for assistance or an appointment. If you are away, contact the local orthodontist in the area. His or her office will be more than happy to make you more comfortable.

If you don’t check any of the boxes above that qualify you to be in an orthodontic emergency, but you’re still feeling pain or discomfort, you may be experiencing some of the less-than-ideal side effects that come with orthodontic treatment. These can include:

  • Irritation of the teeth, gums, and mouth
  • A protruding wire or misplaced bracket
  • Discomfort after adjustments


In the case of these problems, you’ll want to head to our page on orthodontic emergencies and take a look at how you can take the solution into your own hands when it comes to pain, discomfort, or frustration with your braces.