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First of all, you need to know that the best way to avoid orthodontic emergencies is to learn how to take good care of your braces properly between your appointments with your orthodontist.  However, emergencies are emergencies and they can happen to anyone.

Common orthodontic emergencies include broken brackets (braces), poking wires, lost or broken retainers, mouth sores, and mouth injuries sustained playing sports, which often happens when you don’t wear a mouthguard to protect your teeth and orthodontic appliances.

Brush and Floss Every Day

Taking care of your braces is very important if you want to avoid any orthodontic emergencies. It will help you to maintain your braces. Sometimes, some food particles get stuck and result in the development of plaque between your teeth. You can avoid this situation by brushing and flossing after every meal. This will help your braces to stay in great shape and will also help to reduce the risks of emergencies.

Playing Sports

Wearing braces doesn’t mean you can’t play sports. You just need to take some extra precautions. Sports-related injuries to the mouth and jaw are common. Getting hit on the mouth or jaw can be a very painful experience, more so as an orthodontic patient as your teeth are already undergoing change and the impact could set back progress made with your orthodontist. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing sports such as hockey, rugby, ringuette, football and others. A mouthguard is a simple item that can save you the pain, time, and money that comes with orthodontic emergencies because of sports.


It’s important to avoid foods that can damage your braces. Orthodontics appliances may become disconnected or damaged by eating hard, sticky candy or food, or playing with your braces.  While your orthodontic treatment seems like a long time to go without popcorn or bubble gum, sticky foods can break the brackets of your braces and hard foods can bend the wires. If a band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it as is — but don’t connect any elastics to it! If the piece has come off, save it, otherwise you can cover it with orthodontic wax to prevent it from irritating the inside of your mouth.

Fortunately, the vast majority of orthodontic problems are minor, although they may still cause discomfort or irritation. Usually you can soothe the immediate cause of the discomfort with wax and call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment so that we have sufficient time to get you taken care of. Waiting to call to get your appliances repaired could increase the length of your treatment!

If an orthodontic emergency arises where the patient is in pain after hours, please contact your dentist or the Ottawa dental emergency line at (613) 523-4185.