Of course we want you to be careful with your braces and take care of them, but let’s face it, life can get messy and accidents happen. If you do happen to have an orthodontic emergency in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the first thing you may do is panic. You shouldn’t, but it’s normal. Instead of panicking, read through the list below to get answers to your questions or concerns. We’ve also creating a series of short videos that will help you through most orthodontic concerns. The link for our YouTube channel is below.

If these tips don’t provide the answers or relief you need, just give us a call or shoot us a text at 208-772-7272. We are here to help!


Loose Brackets or Bands
Brackets or bands can come loose. Brackets are held in place by a material called composite resin. That’s not really important, but what is important is that brackets and bands can come loose if you eat something tough, sticky or hard. If you discover a problem, call us and we’ll help you determine how soon you need to come and see us to have it resolved.

When you first get your braces, Dr. Erik Curtis or Dr. Clint Wire will give you some dental wax. DO NOT LOSE THIS. Well okay, if you lose it, we’ll give you more. But try to keep an eye on it because it will come in handy. You can put a small piece of this wax over a loose bracket or a poking wire for instant relief. If a band falls off, save it and bring it in to the office.

Poking Wires or Wire Irritations
Once in a while, a wire may come loose. We’ll give you a list of do’s and don’ts, and we want you to be careful when you eat. But even with the best of intentions, accidents happen. Sometimes you may break a wire or one may come loose. It isn’t the end of the world, but those wires are important, so we’ll need to see you to fix the problem. And the broken wire may cause some discomfort. There are a few things you can do to help with that discomfort while you are waiting to come see us for the repair:
• Try putting some of the wax over the wire to keep it from poking your gums or cheeks.
• You can also try to gently (“gently” is the key word here) push the wire back into place with a pencil eraser or cotton swab.
• You may want to try cutting the wire. Call our office before you try it! It may seem like the perfect fix, but those wires are easy to swallow. Dr. Curtis or Dr. Wire may want you to wait for your appointment.

Lost Separators
You’re brushing your teeth. You look in the mirror and … a separator is gone! It’s okay, it happens now and then. Usually, it just means it’s time to get a new band, so call us to set up an appointment.

Discomfort With Braces and Orthodontic Treatments
Your teeth hurt, your jaw is tender, and your lips and cheeks just can’t take it anymore! We get it. We really do. The first few days with braces can be tough and all of that hardware takes a little getting used to. Relax, you’ve got this. Believe it or not, you will be over it before you know it, even if it doesn’t seem that way right now. Since you will be coming in to see Dr. Curtis or Dr. Wire every so often for adjustments, your mouth may not feel so hot after those visits. Here’s what to do:

  • Try taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen to help with the pain.
  • Remember that wax? You can place it on your new braces to keep them from rubbing against your lips and cheeks.
  • Got water? Got salt? Mix a little salt in with warm water and gently rinse your mouth. You’ll be surprised at how much that helps.
  • A little heat goes a long way. Hold a warm washcloth or heating pad against your jaw.
  • Check your menu. Soft foods put less stress on your teeth, and that means less pain for you. And it’s okay to treat yourself with a little ice cream. It’s soft, it’s cool, and besides, it’s always time for ice cream.

If the pain still won’t go away, call Curtis Orthodontics at 208.772.7272 and we’ll get you in to see our orthodontists to check things out.