From time to time you may experience a problem with your braces
while at home.  Here are some common orthodontic appliance
problems that you can easily fix on your own.  However, please do
not hesitate to call us for assistance if you are unable to correct the
situation – severe pain, trauma, facial injury, or even a wire sticking
out that you cannot fix, requires emergency treatment.

Soreness: Rinsing your mouth with warm water mixed with salt often
alleviates soreness caused by braces.  The use of ibuprofen, aspirin, or
Tylenol is also effective in reducing tooth soreness, especially after

Loose Band, Bracket or Appliance: It is OK to leave loose brackets
in place.  Please call us to schedule adequate time – these
appointments take longer than a normal one.  However, if any part is
irritating your mouth, try to cover with orthodontic wax.  If a band or
bracket actually comes off, wrap in tissue and bring with you on your
next appointment.

Loose Wire: An irritating loose wire can be covered with wax as
well.  It may also be pushed back into place by another person using
an eraser, spoon or tweezers, or clipped back with fingernail clippers.

Missing Elastic or Tiewire: This is not an urgent situation.  If there
is a wire tie underneath the colored elastic, we can replace the colored
elastic at your regular appointment.  If there is no elastic or wire tie on
a tooth, please call our office so that we can replace it within the next
week.  If you notice any adverse shifting, please call our office


Your Herbst appliance works using sliding rods and tubes that are
fixed to the bands on the molars of your upper and lower jaw.  
Occasionally, the appliance may come apart if a rod slides out of a
tube.  If this should happen, simply open wide and carefully slide the
rod back into the tube, and close your mouth normally.  You may
need to use a mirror in this case.

In the following instances, please call our office immediately:

•        The screws become loose or come undone.
 •        A rod gets stuck inside a tube, limiting movement of your jaw
•        A band loosens from the tooth.
•        Any other breakage.

Try to save any loose or broken pieces and bring with you to our