Common Problems with Braces and How to Fix Them

Common Problems with Braces and How to Fix Them

Braces have long been the preferred treatment for straightening teeth. Though newer solutions such as Invisalign are gaining in popularity, traditional braces are still frequently used. However, braces sometimes cause minor oral issues. Here are some common problems with braces and how to fix them.


Most patients report some soreness for three to five days after their braces are placed, and again for several hours following each adjustment. You can try over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol or Advil, along with Orajel or another topical medications.

If your braces irritate your mouth, tongue, or lips, try applying some wax to minimize rubbing. We will show you how to use the wax.

Broken Bracket

Braces are bonded to your teeth with durable dental cement, but individual brackets occasionally come loose, especially when biting into hard or sticky food. This will not damage your tooth, but it will need to be re-bonded. If the bracket comes off completely, store it in a safe location and bring it to your repair visit. If it is still connected to the arch wire, apply wax to minimize mouth irritation and leave it in place. You may not need an emergency appointment, but you do need to come in as soon as possible.

Loose Band

Like a broken bracket, a loose band is not an emergency, but it will require a repair appointment. Leave it alone if it is still in place, or store it in a safe place until your appointment if it comes completely out.

Poking Wire

If a wire is poking you, it generally means that it has slid to one side. Look in the mirror and use tweezers to gently put it back in place. If you cannot move it, or it looks like it is centered, either apply wax to prevent irritation or use a pencil eraser to gently bend it out of the way. Tell us about the problem at your next appointment, or schedule an emergency visit if you develop major mouth soreness.

Popped Wire

Popped wires can generally be pushed back into place with tweezers. If you can’t move it, coat it with wax to minimize mouth irritation. Another option is to cut the wire behind the last tooth where it is still bonded with a pair of small, sterilized fingernail clippers. Make an emergency appointment if most or all of the wire popped. Otherwise, let us know what happened at your next visit.

Braces are an excellent way to straighten your teeth, but it is not unusual to have minor problems with them. Follow the tips above, and always give us a call if you are unsure what to do.

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If you are seeking a passionate, caring, highly experienced orthodontist in Westchester County, contact Fine Orthodontics today at 914-666-8997 (Mount Kisco) or 914-232-2997 (Katonah).