Braces: How To Address Three Common Problems

17 January 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


Your dentist may recommend braces to correct a misaligned bite, or crooked teeth. The treatment not only gives you a pleasing aesthetic result, but it improves your oral health since failing to correct problems may result in gum disease, or tooth loss. The process of wearing braces can last several years and takes some getting used. During this time you may encounter some problems. Here's how to address three common problems with your braces that you may run into.

Wire Breaks

One of the most common problems braces wearers run into is broken wires. Because the wires are more fragile than other structures of the braces, this can occur from normal daily activities, such as flossing too vigorously, or using toothpicks. If you feel a wire protruding out, you may be able to fix it yourself. You'll need to address it since it is pointy and can poke your gums, or cheeks. If you don't have some already, pick up some orthodontic wax. Take a Q-tip and place a small amount of wax on it, then press it over the end of the wire as you push it back into place. The wax adheres to the wire and this should temporarily fix the problem until your next visit. However, if the issue persists, make an immediate appointment with your dentist.

Band Comes Loose

Your braces include small metal rings that are located on your molars, typically around the back teeth. With time, a number of circumstances can cause a band to come loose, such as eating candy, or other hard foods. A loose band requires immediate care by your orthodontist, as it increases your risk of swallowing it and choking. If any of your bands come loose, contact your orthodontist and make an appointment to have it fixed.

Bracket Comes Loose

At some point, the small metallic brackets attached to your teeth may come loose. The orthodontist attaches these to your teeth using a hard material called resin. It's a strong material that typically holds up very well. However, it's not indestructible and sometimes regularly eating foods that are sticky, or too hard can cause the resin to wear down, or brake. If that happens, one of the brackets may loosen and you may notice something poking the inside of your mouth. The brackets are very small, so putting some wax over the broken bracket is often a good temporary fix to hold you over until your next orthodontic appointment.