What to Do if You Have an Orthodontic Emergency

Orthodontic Emergencies

After-hours Orthodontic Emergency Assistance available starting September 1, 2017

We understand some minor discomfort can occur with your metal braces, ceramic braces, Invisalign, or other orthodontic appliances.

Generally, your teeth can be very tender for about a week after the initial placement of the orthodontic appliances and also after each adjustment. Some orthodontic inconveniences are normal. While some repairs are able to be put off until your next appointment, we encourage you to call anytime you have a question concerning your treatment.

What to Do Request a Free Orthodontist Exam

  • You may contact our office at 314.962.6242. We are open 8:00am-5:00pm Monday-Thursday, and 8:00am-4:00pm on Friday to take your calls.
  • If you have a loose band, bracket, or broken wires on your metal braces or ceramic braces
  • Experience issues with your Invisalign treatment.
  • When something is causing sharp pain and you cannot get relief with wax or non-prescription pain relievers please contact the office and schedule an appointment to have the problem checked.
  • If you lose or break your retainers please call the office ASAP to schedule an appointment for new retainers.
  • If you lose or run out of rubber bands or wax, call the office. We can arrange to have some mailed to you, or come by the office to pick some up.
  • NOTE: Wax is also available at most pharmacies (Walgreens or CVS). In a pinch, a piece of sugar-free chewing gum can be a temporary aid in place of wax!

In case of an emergency after-hours, call our Patient Manager at 314.698.0522, Monday-Thursday 5:00pm-9:00pm, Friday 4:00pm-9:00pm, and Saturday or Sunday 8:00am-9:00pm. Leave a message clearly stating your name/patients name, give a brief description of the emergency, and give your contact information. The Patient Manager will return your call as soon as possible.

cardinal orthodontic emergencies

Pain Relief at Home

Here are a couple tips to help relieve pain at home:

Warm Salt Water Rinsesorthodontic emergency

Puffy/swollen gums can be helped with a warm salt rinse. Put about a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and rinse several times. Repeat as needed.

Non-Prescription Pain Relievers

Discomfort can be relieved by over the counter pain relievers such as Tylenol, Advil or Aspirin. Follow the dosage recommendations on the bottle.


If an area of your braces is poking out and causing pain, roll a small piece of wax into a tiny ball and apply to the sharp area. Sugar-free gum will also work as a temporary fix until you can visit your orthodontist.