Solutions to Common Problems

How to solve some braces issues

Sometimes during orthodontic treatment part of the braces or orthodontic appliance may become loose or cause irritation. Many of these issues can be solved at home. Below you will find a list of common problems and suggestions for solutions along with videos illustrating these issues.

General Soreness

When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area or rinsing you mouth with Rincinol may help; these products can be found in your local pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take ibuprofen, tylenol, or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

Broken Brackets

The braces or brackets bonded to the teeth can sometimes become loose if the bond between the tooth and bracket is broken. The tooth is not damaged, but the bracket will need to be re-bonded to the tooth. Broken bracket happen for a variety of reasons, but most commonly occur when food that is too hard or sticky is eaten. If the bracket stays on the archwire it can be left in place. If it is irritating, use orthodontic wax over the loose bracket to improve the irritation. If the bracket comes off of the arch wire, please save the bracket and bring it to your next appointment so that it can be repaired. A broken bracket is not an emergency, but you should call to notify your orthodontist when convenient so an appointment to repair the bracket can be made.

Loose Bands

Call the office to schedule a repair appointment. If the band is loose and stays on the tooth in the proper spot, allow it to stay in place. If the band comes off the tooth completely, save the band and bring it to our office when you are scheduled for a repair appointment.

Poking Wires

Poking wires are improved by using wax over the poking area. Many poking wires are a result of the wire sliding to one side or the other and can be improved at home. If the wire is small and has a dimple in the middle between the front two teeth, check to see if the wire has slid and is no longer centered. If it has become uncentered, it can be re-centered using light pressure with tweezers.

If the wire is centered or cannot be slid to be re-centered, use way on the area of the wire that is poking.

If the wire is small and can be easily bent, a pencil eraser can be used to gently push the wire into a place so it will not poke.

Loose Wire

Using tweezers, try to place your wire back into place. If doing this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it.

Headgear Does Not Fit

Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided by your orthodontist. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less if it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

Appointment Request

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