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Common Problems with Braces

Many people need braces at some point to improve the alignment of their teeth. As they will often need to wear the braces for months or years, problems can arise. The following are among the more common problems people have with their braces:

Loose band: The band encircles the tooth. Fiddling with it or eating sticky or hard foods can loosen it. If it is still attached to a wire, it will be somewhat wobbly. If you have a loose band, call your orthodontist for advice or an appointment. Don’t attach rubber bands or head gear to loose bands.

Sometimes, the band will come off altogether. If that happens, the orthodontist should be called immediately, for the band will have to be re-cemented before the space between the teeth closes. If the orthodontist can’t cement the band immediately he will have to install separators until he can re-cement the band.

Loose or broken braces: Like loose bands, loose braces are usually caused by eating the wrong foods or fiddling with the braces. If the bracket is still attached to the wire, cover it with wax and leave it in place. If it comes off completely, you should bring it with you when you see the orthodontist. Don’t attach elastics or head gear to loose braces.

Long archwires: The archwire is the wire threaded through the braces and bands. As the patient’s teeth shift into their proper alignment, the wire may start poking out the rear of the tubes attached to the back teeth. If that happens, they can irritate the cheeks. You may try to move the wire away from the cheek with a cotton swab. If the wire doesn’t move, you can try to cover it with wax or cotton. You can also try to cut it with sterilized nail clippers. If none of those work, it’s time to call the orthodontist.

Wire out of tube: Eating the wrong foods can also make the wire slip out of the brackets attached to the back teeth. You can use tweezers to try to put the wire back. If that doesn’t work, cover it with wax and call the orthodontist.

Sore teeth: This usually happens immediately after an appointment, and the teeth are at their most sore 24 – 72 hours after an appointment. This is normal. Take the pain remedies you would for a headache and eat soft foods.

Poking metal tie: Metal wires are sometimes used to attach the archwire to the bands or braces. Eating or brushing the teeth can sometimes dislodge this tie and it will start to irritate the lips or cheeks. You can try to move it back it into place. If you can’t, call your orthodontist.

Lost elastic tie: Elastic ties can sometimes fall off. If that happens, call the orthodontist. Sometimes, they will want to replace the tie right away, while other times they will wait until your next scheduled appointment.

At Grace and Bowman Orthodontics, we offer orthodontic treatments for kids, teens and adults. While braces are a great treatment option, problems can arise. If you have any issues or trouble with your braces throughout treatment, contact Grace and Bowman Orthodontics to schedule an appointment. Our staff will work with you to resolve the problem as quickly and effectively as possible.