At Strickland Orthodontics, we make every effort to ensure that your braces are intact and comfortable before you leave your scheduled appointment to help minimize any discomfort you may have. However, if you are having an orthodontic emergency please call our office. Even if it is not during our open hours, our patients will be able to get in touch with both Dr. Stephen Strickland and Dr. H. Len Strickland’s cell phone. While some orthodontic concerns require immediate attention, most can be resolved at home and can then be fully corrected at your earliest convenience.


Here is a picture that identifies the parts of your braces, which will help you more accurately describe your concern and will allow us to give you the best advice for your situation.


Food caught between teeth or braces

While this is not an “emergency,” it can cause some discomfort. This usually occurs during the beginning of a patient’s orthodontic care when the teeth are more misaligned. A toothbrush and flossing is usually all that is needed to relieve the discomfort.

Ligature (O-Tie or Steel Tie) Came Off

Ligatures hold the arch wire to the braces and sometimes come loose. This usually does not cause any discomfort but if you notice that this has happened we can replace the ligature at your earliest convenience.

Lost Separator

A separator is used to make a small amount of space to be able to place a band. If it comes out, the separator has done its job! Just let us know when you come in to your next appointment.

Mouth Sores or Ulcers

While most patients never have this problem, a small number of patients are more susceptible to having mouth sores or ulcers. Many different things can cause them, but keeping your teeth very clean, limiting spicy and acidic foods and using a mouth rinse that is alcohol free will help lessen the severity of an ulcer. Let the doctor know if you have a history of ulcers and he can discuss some options that will help prevention.

Poking Wire

Sometimes during your orthodontic care, you may have a wire that is poking or rubbing you. Sometimes you can resituate the wire with a pencil eraser or Q-tip. If you are unable to correct the poking wire, please give us a call and we will get you comfortable. Using orthodontic wax is very useful to give you immediate relief. Place a pea-sized ball on the place that is causing discomfort.

Teeth are sore or loose

While we are moving your teeth to a better and healthier position, you may notice some soreness. Soreness usually only lasts for a day or two after your initial appointment. Because we are able to use lighter forces, discomfort is less and less common. You may also notice that your teeth are a little loose (especially our Invisalign patients when you remove the aligners to eat). This is expected in most of our patients, but if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to call our office.

Loose Appliance (Bracket, Wire, Band)

If you notice that an appliance is loose, please call our office as soon as you can. We can make sure you are comfortable and help determine your next step. If possible, keep and bring with you any appliance that comes loose.

Injury or Trauma

If you have been in a true medical emergency involving your mouth, please seek medical attention first! Most injuries revolve around sports and if anything happens please call our office and we will immediately address your concern. However, prevention is best! We give all of our patients that play sports a mouth guard to help protect their teeth during their orthodontic care.