Common Problems with Braces and How to Fix Them

Team Braces

Do you or your child have braces? Braces are common for older children and teens and are becoming increasingly common for adults. While braces normally function well without any issues, you may encounter a minor problem at some point during your treatment. The good news is that most common problems have easy solutions you can do at home. 

However, if you do have an emergency situation, such as a broken bracket or severe pain, you should contact Smith Orthodontics right away: 937-431-0947. We will do our best to provide a solution over the phone, but we can also work you in for an appointment if necessary. 

Here are some of the problems we get frequent calls about and how you can fix them.

Food Stuck in Braces

Some of the most common problems with braces involve food. Food particles can get stuck under brackets and bands causing discomfort and even pain. You can dislodge pieces of food carefully with a toothpick, floss, or toothbrush. If this does not work, let us know. It is not good for your braces or your teeth to allow food pieces to remain stuck. 

The best way to prevent food problems is to avoid the foods your orthodontist tells you to avoid, such as sticky foods, hard foods, caramels, hard candy, taffy, popcorn, chewing gum, pizza crusts, and nuts. You should also refrain from chewing ice or biting into a whole apple or crunchy celery stalk. Instead, cut crunchy fruits and vegetables up into bite size pieces because proper nutrition is still important while you have braces. It is best to avoid sugary foods while wearing braces because the risk of tooth decay is higher. If you do consume sweet treats or beverages, be sure to brush your teeth afterwards.

Protruding Wire

Occasionally, a wire from your braces may come loose or get out of place and start to poke the inside of your cheek or lip. The best way to correct this is to gently push on it with a pencil eraser until you can no longer feel the sharp edge. If this does not work, cover it with orthodontic wax and give us a call. The wax will prevent any further irritation until you can come in and we can fix the wire. 

To prevent this from happening, we recommend that you carefully check with your tongue, and the inside of your cheeks and lips for any rough spots before leaving our office. You should also avoid eating any of the foods listed above that could catch on wires and cause them to bend or come out of place.

Mouth Irritation

When your braces are new, it is common for the metal brackets to irritate the inside of your cheeks and lips and even your tongue. This is normal in the beginning and tends to lessen as your mouth gets used to the presence of the braces. 

The best way to correct and even prevent irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth is to use orthodontic wax to put over the parts that are causing the problem. You may find that you experience the most irritation when eating because your mouth is moving a lot. Talking may also be painful when your mouth is irritated. Use wax during these times whenever possible.

Pain in the Teeth or Jaw

Most people experience soreness in their teeth and jaw after getting braces put on the first time. The initial pain can last anywhere from a few days to a week. You may also feel sore after each appointment with your orthodontist where adjustments are made, but only for a day or two. 

This pain can best be relieved by taking over the counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It can help to eat soft foods during the first few days when pain is the most severe. If your pain persists for more than 2 weeks or is unusually severe, contact Smith Orthodontics so that we can assess your situation.

Having Problems with Your Braces? Contact Smith Orthodontics

At Smith Orthodontics, we believe that braces don’t have to be uncomfortable. We do our best to minimize discomfort, such as using brackets that don’t require wire ties and gentler methods that move teeth more gradually. You can improve your smile without pain. 

If you do experience a problem with your braces, call 937-431-0947 today or request an appointment. We will do our best to provide a solution to any problem you are having with your braces as soon as possible over the phone or in our office.