boy with braces smiling

Common Problems with Braces and How to Fix Them

Team Orthodontics

If you have braces you may occasionally experience problems with them. Some problems are minor and some are a little more serious, but all can be corrected. Some braces problems can be fixed on your own at home, and others may require you to come into the office to have something repaired or corrected.

Here are some of the most common problems with braces and solutions to those problems.

  • Ligature comes off. Ligatures are what ties the archwire to the brackets. They are sometimes rubber bands and sometimes metal ties. If a rubber band ligature comes off, you may be able to place it back on using tweezers. If a metal ligature comes off, you may be able to put it back on with tweezers or bend it back into place if it is merely sticking out. Contact us if you are unable to fix a ligature and we will make an appointment for you to come in and have it corrected.
  • Bracket comes off. Brackets are the metal pieces attached to the front of your teeth that your archwire connects to. Occasionally a bracket may break off of a tooth. Brackets are cemented or glued onto the front of your teeth and normally stay in place unless you eat something you shouldn’t. If a bracket pops off of a tooth, contact us. We will need you to come in so that we can reattach it.
  • Band comes off. Bands are like brackets, except that they fit completely around your back molars. Bands are also cemented onto your teeth, but they can come loose, especially if you eat something chewy that sticks to them and pulls them off. If a band comes off of your tooth you will need to contact us and make an appointment to have it cemented back into place.
  • Irritation inside cheeks or lips. When your mouth is getting used to braces for the first time it is common for the metal to irritate the soft tissues on the inside of your mouth, such as your cheeks, lips, and tongue. The best way to solve this problem is to use orthodontic wax to smooth over the rough spots and allow your mouth to heal. You can also take pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, to relieve the irritation.
  • Pain in the teeth or jaw. It is also common after getting your braces put on for your teeth and jaw to feel tender. It may hurt to chew for a few days up to a week after getting braces put on and a day or two after having your braces adjusted. Eat soft foods as much as possible and take pain relievers to reduce the ache.
  • A wire is protruding. Sometimes after an adjustment to your braces there will be a wire that is poking your mouth and causing irritation in a certain spot. Take a pencil eraser and gently push on the wire until you no longer feel the rough spot. If this doesn’t work you can contact us and make an appointment to have the wire bent back into place.
  • Food is stuck. Sometimes food can get stuck under a band or bracket in a way that is painful or uncomfortable. You can try to remove the food with your toothbrush or floss. If that doesn’t work you can try a toothpick, but be extremely careful that you don’t bend or break your braces. If you can’t dislodge the food, contact us to make an appointment. Avoiding the foods you shouldn’t eat with braces can prevent this from occurring.

Having a Problem with Your Braces? Contact Tender Smiles 4 Kids

It is common for issues to occur from time to time with braces. At Tender Smiles 4 Kids we believe you shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable due to a problem with your braces that could be corrected. If you contact us with a problem we will do our best to help you solve it over the phone if possible, or get you into the office right away if you need our help.

Contact us at any of our 4 convenient locations:

Freehold Office: 732-625-8080
North Brunswick Office: 732-249-1010
Edison Office: 732-549-3773
Roselle Office: 908-245-5556

We will do our best to solve your braces problems as quickly as possible.