Skip to main content


Have a broken bracket? Is a wire poking your cheek? No sweat! We’re sharing how to troubleshoot quickly and easily.

Most braces issues can be handled at home.

A true braces emergency is exceptionally rare, but you may occasionally experience a minor problem. By following the instructions below, you’ll be able to get your braces back on track from the comfort of home in most situations. If you have an urgent need, our knowledgeable, helpful team members are here to help! Call or text us at 202-686-2108.

Braces Irritation

Your braces might irritate your lips, cheeks and tongue for a week or so until your mouth gets used to your new appliance. To ease irritation, swish with a saltwater rinse (½ teaspoon of salt dissolved in eight ounces of warm water) as often as needed.

You can also cover the parts of your braces that are bothering you with orthodontic wax.

Here’s how to put wax on your braces:

  • Wash your hands and break off a little piece of wax.
  • Roll the wax into a ball between your fingers to warm it up.
  • Dry off the bracket and/or wire with a clean tissue or piece of gauze.
  • Gently flatten the wax against your braces.

Loose or Broken Bracket

Did you know a broken bracket isn’t an emergency? You can wait a week or two before visiting your orthodontist for a repair.

Metal Braces

In the meantime:

  • If the bracket is towards the front of the mouth and still attached to the wire, you can cover it with orthodontic wax if it causes irritation.
  • The very last bracket in the back holds the end of the wire in place. If this bracket breaks, you might have to trim the excess wire for comfort. Here’s what to do:
    • Buy a new, large nail clipper.
      Slide the broken bracket off the wire.
    • Use the nail clipper to carefully trim the wire closest to the neighboring bracket.
    • Cover the end with wax to make the wire feel smooth.
  • Call or text us and let us know about it. We’ll get you in for a visit to attach a new bracket to your tooth at your convenience.

Poking Wire

You can cover the wire with orthodontic relief wax. Or, if needed, follow the instructions for trimming.

Braces Services

Schedule your complimentary consultation today!

Every beautiful, confident smile we create starts with a consultation. Schedule an exam for you or your child at our boutique orthodontic practice today! We are conveniently located in Tenleytown, DC with easy access to the Tenleytown-AU metro station, bus stops and street parking.