During any course of Orthodontic treatment, for adults and children, there will likely be an occasion when a minor problem arises with your appliance (braces, aligner, retainers etc…).

don't panic

1. Read the tips on managing an emergency in the Booklets: Patient Information – Oral Hygiene & Fixed Braces Information. You may also gain some useful information from watching the video showing you how to apply wax to your appliance: Using Wax
2. IF you still are unable to solve your problem THEN contact the practice you attend directly (by phone – number at the top right hand corner of this screen) and allow our Reception Team to determine the nature of the problem so that they can arrange an appropriate appointment for you and in some cases also provide you with the best advice over the phone.


From the commencement of your time with us, your Clinician and Nurse will have provided you with tips and advice on how to care for your brace including what to do if faced with this situation.

breakages are not emergencies

IF your appliance has broken THEN it does need to be fixed. In this case when you contact our Reception Team they will either arrange an appointment for you to have it fixed or they will advise you to simply keep your next appointment and it can be fixed then. Please be aware that usually, we do not class a broken appliance as an emergency.


IF your appliance is causing you severe pain and discomfort (beyond that which you might feel after your brace has been fitted or an adjustment) THEN we will ask you to come to the Practice as soon as possible. The purpose for this visit will be to stop or remove the cause of the pain and discomfort. The available time for these appointments is 5 minutes or we may have to ask you to take a seat until we have a Clinician who is available to see you between their scheduled appointments. Therefore, usually, we will not repair a broken appliance at this time and will schedule you another suitable appointment to make a repair or adjustment.

A lost or badly damaged Retainer does require urgent action. We do need to see you again as soon as possible to ensure we can take appropriate measures to provide you with a replacement Retainer. Contact the Practice immediately and we will attempt to find a suitable appointment for you.

Usually this will be to take new impressions (moulds of your teeth) to send to the laboratory for a new Retainer to be made. Please note that there is a charge for any new Retainer payable at this appointment. You will be advised of the amount payable once you have made the appointment.

out of hours

IF your brace breaks or is damaged out of our usual business hours THEN contact your Practice and leave a message for our Reception Team. They will contact you as a matter of priority.

IF you find yourself in severe discomfort or pain THEN do the same AND also ensure you have tried any of the following as appropriate;

  • Apply wax and/or gel to the painful area or offending part of the appliance,
  • IF the wire across your teeth is VERY loose THEN gently remove it altogether.
  • IF the wire is sticking right out but won’t ‘pull’ out THEN trim it with nail clippers and put wax over the end.
  • IF a bracket is attached to the wire THEN try to put some wax over it to stop it moving and rubbing
  • Your own dentist may provide an out of hour’s service and be able to help you.
  • NOTE THAT we do NOT recommend attending hospital A&E.