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Emergency Dental Care

What to do in an Emergency

Although most orthodontic emergencies can be prevented with proper care, occasionally the unexpected occurs. In the event that you have an orthodontic issue that needs to be addressed right away, call Dr. Tanya Vaysman of Upper Eastside Orthodontists. For years, she and her team have helped patients in Manhattan with all of their orthodontic needs.

Of course, some issues don’t require you to come in and see us immediately. We’ve organized some home care advice for dental emergencies from least to most serious, with those at the bottom requiring an appointment as soon as possible.

Food stuck between teeth

For this issue, you’ll simply require some dental floss. The staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists knows that flossing with clear or traditional braces can be tricky, so we advise our patients to tie a small knot in the thread that can make it easier to dislodge the particle. You can also use an interproximal brush or toothpick to remove bits of food.

Ligature comes off

Ligatures are the tiny rubber bands that secure the archwire to the bracket. If these rubber bands come off, use a steady hand and sterilized tweezers to reattach it to the bracket. In the event a wire ligature becomes loose, take it out using tweezers that have been disinfected. Schedule an appointment with us if you notice that any more have become detached.


You shouldn’t be surprised if you are a bit uncomfortable after Dr. Vaysman has adjusted your braces or retainers. We tell our patients that the best thing they can do is steer clear of chewy foods and meat, as they can make your teeth sorer. You may also want to consider taking a mild pain reliever or rinsing your mouth with a salt-water solution, which can prevent infections.

Mouth sores

Some individuals find that irritation they are experiencing from braces leads to mouth sores, especially on the inside of the cheeks, tongue or lips. To alleviate the pain, use a topical anesthetic like Orabase, Ora-Gel or BraceRelief, which we can provide during your appointment. Apply it to the affected area using a cotton swab.

Cheek and lip irritation

You’ve probably noticed that your cheeks and lips hurt the most while eating. This problem can be solved using the wax we give you during your bracket placement appointment. If you’ve lost your supply, most drugstores also sell it. After purchasing some, roll a small piece into a ball and put it over the bracket or area that is causing the irritation.

Protruding wire

In the event your wire has moved out of place, use a cotton swab or pencil eraser to push the wire so that it is lying flat against your tooth. If this cannot be accomplished, cover it using your relief wax. Call us right away to let us know of the problem, and if you can’t make it to see Dr. Vaysman soon, clip the archwire using very sharp scissors. Reduce your chance of ingesting it by placing a piece of folded gauze over any protruding ends.

Loose brackets

Brackets that have moved unintentionally need to be addressed quickly, so you ought to contact our staff to make a follow-up appointment. Should you feel you can put it back in place, use sterile tweezers to rotate it to the correct position.

Contact Us

An urgent situation should never be ignored. Whether you have questions regarding how to reduce the pain of mouth sores or you aren’t sure what to do with a protruding wire, call us at Upper Eastside Orthodontists. We can be reached at (212) 360-0835 or you can submit an appointment request by clicking here.

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