If you have a broken brace, please contact the practice immediately on 020 8642 2072 to arrange an appointment.

If you have a emergency (i.e. pain that cannot wait to be treated or a wire digging in – not just a broken brace) outside of practice hours’, please contact the NHS Out of Hours Service on 111.

Below you will find a list of some of the more common problems that may occur during orthodontic treatment and what you should do.

General Soreness:

It is common and normal to experience some soreness during orthodontic treatment. This can last three to four days after an adjustment. To alleviate discomfort, we recommend that patients eat softer foods and rinse after each meal. Pain relievers may also help.

Sore spots:

Occasionally patients may develop ulcers while wearing braces. There is no cure for ulcers, but to help relieve any discomfort we recommend placing wax on the problematic area of the braces. Ulcers generally heal within 7 – 10 days. Please call us if you do not experience relief after this time period.


Orthodontic appliances can be damaged when a patient sustains injury to the face or mouth. Call for an appointment if the teeth feel loose or if the appliance is broken. If you choose, we can create a customized mouthguard to protect your teeth and appliances during contact sports.

Loose teeth:

Do not be surprised if teeth feel loose during treatment. Teeth need to loosen before they can move into their new positions.

Separator/Spacer is out:

If a separator (spacer) falls out a day or two before your next appointment you do not need to have it replaced. If it falls out before then, call us during practice hours to arrange an appointment to replace the missing separator.

Rubber bands:

Rubber band wear will cause sore teeth when you first begin wearing them (approximately the first 3 – 4 days). Once the teeth begin to move, this soreness will go away. Continue to wear the rubber bands during this initial period of soreness and take pain relievers if necessary. Do not continue wearing the rubber bands if you are unsure how they are to be worn. Call us during practice hours and we will let you know how to wear your elastics.

Broken Archwire:

Call us during practice hours to arrange an emergency appointment. Place wax over the area if the wire is poking.

Appliances or Headgear that does not fit:

Call us during practice hours and arrange an appointment to have the appliance or headgear adjusted. Do not try to force the appliance or headgear into place.

Loose band or bracket:

Call us during practice hours and arrange a repair appointment. If the loose band or bracket is irritating the gums or cheek, place wax over the area. Remember to brush very well around the loose appliance, as it may tend to trap plaque.

Missing or broken elastic ties:

Call us during practice hours and arrange an appointment to have missing or broken ties replaced. If the tie is missing or broken, the tooth can drift away from the archwire. This is particularly a problem if you are wearing rubber bands.


Gaps may appear between your teeth during your treatment, this is quite normal. All gaps will be closed prior to the end of the treatment.