Top Orthodontist: Braces, Invisalign

Advice For Braces Emergencies

Dr. Yaroslav Yarmolyuk can give you a brighter smile and better oral health by straightening your teeth with braces. Braces are an effective and affordable way to improve your dental health and self-confidence. Using braces to re-align crooked teeth is a very safe procedure, but every once in a while problems can occur. Here’s what patients from the Palatine area should keep in mind if you run into a problem with your braces from Dr. Yarmolyuk.

Food Trapped Under Braces Wires

Getting a bit of food trapped underneath your braces wires and between your teeth is not an emergency, but it can be unsightly and irritating. It’s important not to unseat any of your brackets or the small tie wires, called ligatures, which attach them to the arch wire that connects all the brackets on your teeth. It’s best to remove the offending morsel using a toothpick or an interproximal brush, as it might be difficult to get a piece of dental floss in place.

Ligatures Fall Off

Depending on your particular set of braces, the brackets that grip your teeth will be attached to the arch wire with small rubber bands or thread-like wires called ligatures. If you bite down too hard on the wrong kind of food, it’s possible for the ligature wire or rubber band to come loose. If the ligature is completely loose, you should remove it from your mouth to avoid swallowing or aspirating it. If it’s still attached to the arch wire, you may be able to reattach it using a clean tweezers or a Q-tip.

In general, rubber bands are much easier to reattach, but are also much easier to dislodge. If a wire ligature is sticking out but hasn’t become unattached, it’s OK to push it back down with a pencil eraser or Q-tip to keep it from irritating the inside of your mouth.

If a ligature breaks, the amount of tension on the arch wire will be distributed over fewer teeth than it’s designed for, and additional ligatures might begin to break. It’s smart to call Dr. Yarmolyuk for advice about broken or missing ligatures, and to find out whether you need to schedule an office visit in the Palatine area for a braces checkup.

Pain or Discomfort

For a day or two after your braces are adjusted, you can experience discomfort, especially when eating. Adjustments put additional pressure on your teeth to move them into alignment, so it’s normal for your teeth to feel differently for a short period. You can normally deal with this condition by eating softer foods and rinsing your mouth out with warm, salty water. After a couple of days, the effects of your adjustment will wear off and your teeth will feel normal again. If you experience pain instead of discomfort, you should contact Dr. Yarmolyuk to see if you need an additional office visit to address your condition.

Sores in the Mouth

Some patients are more likely to develop sores inside the mouth from braces than others. Braces are just one of many things that can cause irritation in the mouth that results in small ulcers on the inside of the cheek, or on the lips or tongue. You can soothe irritations with an application of Orajel or a similar preparation designed for teething pain, cold sore relief, or canker sores. These preparations can be reapplied as often as directed on the package, or until the irritation subsides.


Until your mouth gets used to your braces, they can cause you to have irritations where the metal rubs up against the lips, cheeks, or gums. These irritations are more like abrasions than sores, and can be addressed more easily than sores in the mouth. Dr. Yarmolyuk provides orthodontic wax that can be placed on the area of the braces that is causing the irritation, and it usually brings almost instant relief. If you accidentally swallow a piece of the wax, don’t worry too much. It’s safe to eat. If you run out, any pharmacy will have a supply on hand for over the counter use.

Protruding Wires

In rare cases, the end of a wire can become dislodged and begin to rub against the inside of your mouth, which can be painful. You can push the wire back into place using a Q-tip or pencil eraser, and then cover it with wax as you would for any irritation. If the wire won’t stay where you place it, and continues to cause you discomfort, please call Dr. Yarmolyuk to schedule a follow-up appointment in his Palatine area office.

Loose Brackets or Wires

If your braces become loose and begin to pull away from your teeth, it’s important to contact Dr. Yarmolyuk to find out how to proceed. Brackets are attached to the teeth using a very strong adhesive, but they can be dislodged if you eat the wrong kinds of foods or suffer a blow to the mouth. Some patients encounter loose brackets when they play sports without a proper mouthguard, or are involved in an automobile accident. In any case, it’s important to make an appointment at Dr. Yarmolyuk’s office in the Palatine area as soon as possible to address the problem with your braces.

You’ve Swallowed Part of Your Braces

Having a piece of your braces come completely loose is a very rare occurrence. Even more rare is swallowing a piece that has come loose. While swallowing a piece of your braces is no reason to panic, it does mean you should contact Dr. Yarmolyuk immediately. While it’s very unlikely that swallowing any part of your braces would cause any damage to your digestive system, it is possible to aspirate the piece into your lungs, which can be very dangerous. If you know that you’ve swallowed part of your braces, and you begin to cough a lot, or have any trouble breathing whether you’re coughing or not, you should contact the Palatine area office of Dr. Yarmolyuk without delay for immediate instructions on what to do.

To Find Out More About Braces

If you have any questions about braces for you or your children, feel free to call Dr Yarmolyuk’s office in the Palatine area to schedule a consultation to learn more.

This information contained on this website is for the purposes of learning more about the different treatment options.