Trauma to the face or teeth

If you ever receive trauma or a blow to your face or teeth it is important that you see your dentist BEFORE you contact Hornsby Orthodontics. This is because your dentist is the person best equipped to diagnose and treat any damage which may have occurred to your teeth and the root structures under the gum. Once the dentist has seen you and treated any damaged teeth, then your orthodontist can repair any breakages of your braces.

We will always see patients with emergencies on the day they request, but please be aware that there may be a wait if you chose to come at heavily scheduled times (such as before and after school).

Common Orthodontic Concerns

Please read these simple tips for treating some of the common issues that you may experience.

Tooth tenderness

As teeth start to move into better positions some tenderness around all the teeth is to be expected. It can last for up to a week following the placement of braces or after a wire change. It is due to light inflammation around the tooth ligaments and resolves quickly with regular doses of Nurofen or Panadol. It is also advisable to limit food to soft types which require little chewing. If the tenderness is not resolving after 7 days then please ring and we can arrange to see you.


Tenderness following the placement of spacers on the back teeth is to be expected. And is effectively relieved using the age appropriate dose of nurofen or panadol. It last for 2-3 days and is best managed by sticking to a soft diet

Lost Spacers

It is not uncommon to lose a spacer or separator as the teeth move to make space. Generally this is not an emergency but it is worth ringing the practice to get advice on whether we need to replace the lost spacer before your next scheduled appointments

Individual tooth pain

If toothbrushing has been too quick then food and bacteria can become trapped around the braces and the gums. This cause the gums to be irritated, sore and bleed and it often affects the back molar teeth which are more difficult to get to. We advise thorough cleaning in the affected area using gentle but definite toothbrushing movements complemented by flossing. Much less commonly there may be a problem with the health of a tooth and not the gum, this pain does not resolve with cleaning

Rubbing braces

New braces are very similar in sensation to new shoes. There is often one or two braces which rub awkwardly against the inside of your lips and cheeks. In order to avoid getting an ulcer it is important that you use the wax that was given to you at your braces on appointment. This wax acts like “Band Aid “ for braces.

Dry the brace off with a tissue/edge of the towel and take a small ball of wax. Mould and soften it between your fingers and press it into position all the way around the brace and wire getting it to tuck behind the edges. This helps it stay in place longer. Putting wax on makes the brace smooth, allows the lip to recover and is best done at night time when the braces first go on.

Sharp Wire

The initial wires are designed to be super flexible and springy to start your teeth moving. A side effect of this physical property is that they can sometimes become distorted especially at the back of the braces. The wire can feel sharp to your tongue or cheek. 2 options are available 1) place wax on it until you can come to the practice or 2) using a nail clippers trim the end of the wire causing problems. The Orthodontist can always repair anything you have done, the main concern is that you are not in discomfort.

Brace moving

If you catch the edge of a brace awkwardly with food or a pen you can break the glue which holds the brace on the tooth. This will not cause any pain or over all damage but you will need to come tosee us with 1-2 weeks of it happening so we can replace the broken brace. Sticky lollies and very crusty bread can cause this and we advise you to avoid these types of snacks as many breakages will significantly slow down your treatment.

Loose Expander

Very occasionally an expander can become loose from a back tooth. In this case gently push the loose ring back onto the molar tooth. Contact the practice and arrange an appointment so we can recement the expander. We always ask you to avoid sticky, chewy lollies when wearing an expander.

Broken Retainer Wire

If you feel that the glue holding your retainer wire is rough, chipped or has come off please contact us immediately for an appointment to reattach the tooth to the wire. Prompt attention will prevent your tooth from moving.

If you are not in Sydney then don’t panic. The adhesive which is used to hold the wire on your tooth is a UNIVERSAL dental adhesive and any dentist anywhere in the world would have something similar to use.

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