Emergency Treatment

The following info will allow patients or parents to work through potential problems during treatment, either by themselves, or through the direct help of our office.

Lost Separator

  • Separators are used to wedge the teeth apart to place a ring, called a band, around the teeth
  • If a separator comes out a day or two before your next appointment, just come on to your regular visit.
  • If a separator comes out in the first few days after it was placed, then it will need to be replaced.  Please call our office for a quick five minute appointment.

Loose or Poking Wires

  • If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a cotton swab (Q-tip).  If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum until you can see Dr. Auter to resolve this problem.
  • If the main wire has come out of the tube on your back molar tooth, attempt to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nosed pliers or tweezers.  If the wire is sticking you and the previously mentioned solutions dont help, the wire can be cut close to the last brace with fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized with alcohol.  This is a last resort if the professional help is unavailable.

Loose Brackets or Bands
If a bracket or band becomes loose, it usually remains connected to the main wire.  Eyebrow tweezers can be used to reposition the brace if it flips around the wire and becomes a source of irritation.   Call our office to inform us of your situation.

If a piece of your braces breaks, save the piece and call our office to schedule a repair visit.

If You Swallow Something
Remain calm if you swallow a piece of your appliance.  This will usually go into the stomach, passing out of the body in a bowel movement.  However, should difficulty with breathing be experienced, you should seek immediate medical attention.  X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the swallowed piece.

Sore Teeth or Sore Gums
Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen if your teeth are sore after a periodic adjustment (visit).


Rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and a teaspoon of salt can also be soothing.  If you cut your gums, tongue, or inside of your cheek, apply finger pressure to the bleeding site for several minutes.  If the bleeding does not clot, call Dr. Auter or your family dentist.

Traumatic Injury to the Teeth
In the case of a blow to the teeth when the patient has orthodontic appliances on his or her teeth, immediate action is required.  Orthodontic appliances, in general, serve as a shock absorber, of sorts, that dissipates the impact force of a blow over a number of teeth, thus minimizing the likelihood of localized tooth loss.  If a baseball or any other object causes an obvious distortion of the main arch wire form or the loosening of any teeth or brackets, it is important you seek immediate help from Dr. Auter (or any other orthodontist if necessary) ideally within the first hour or so of the traumatic event.  Displaced teeth can most easily and effectively be splinted back in place before swelling makes it much more painful and difficult to successfully reposition the traumatized teeth back in their original position for healing.  Call Dr. Auter anytime, night or day, for immediate help using our answering machine message to get his home or cell phone number.