Check out our tips & tricks for troubleshooting uncomfortable braces. You can also visit our page for current patients: Braces FAQ.
It is normal for an orthodontic wire to poke your cheek or lip once in a while. This can happen as:
- Your mouth takes some time to adjust to new appliances in the mouth.
- Your teeth become straighter, which will lengthen wire in the back and increase the risk of a poking wire.
- Normal chewing and functioning causing the wire to shift.
- The wire shifts out of the bracket from eating certain foods, brushing, or flossing incorrectly.
If the wire is poking your cheek or lip, carefully move your lip or cheek away from the wire. Then, make sure that area is dry and cover the sharp edge with dental wax. Contact your orthodontist to have the wire trimmed.
Your mouth will be sore beginning a few hours after initial placement and after each adjustment. The soreness could last only a few hours to 2 weeks. You can expect:
- Cheek & lip soreness – Braces will rub your cheeks and lips. Just like when your skin is irritated after frequent rubbing, the inside of your mouth will take time to adjust to new appliances in your mouth.
- Tooth soreness – As teeth move inside your jaw bones, the pressure it creates will cause tooth soreness. Some teeth may feel more sore than others or last longer than others depending on how much movement is occurring.
- Jaw soreness – It is normal for your bite to shift during treatment. This temporary change in bite can cause some jaw soreness.
For troubleshooting this braces pain, over the counter medications like Advil or Tylenol can be helpful. You may also use a peroxide rinse. Stay on a soft diet until the soreness subsides. If gum or cheek irritation persists, use dental wax to help alleviate this pain.
At our office, we make sure to use the highest quality bonding agents to prevent broken brackets. However, broken braces may still happen if:
- Dietary restrictions are not followed – Please refer back to the dietary restriction page to ensure that you are not eating anything that can cause your brackets to break.
- You have a grinding or clenching habit – These habits can cause the glue to become loose over time. Once the glue has been weakened, braces can break from eating even very soft foods.
- Difficulty during the bonding appointment – While placing braces, the mouth must be kept very dry to make sure the glue sticks. If there is some contamination from saliva, water, or even the breath, braces may have a higher chance of breaking.
- Crowns – Glue does not stick as well to crowns as they do to teeth. Be very careful with what you eat if you have crowns.
- An accident – We’ve seen it all at our office. From accidentally biting on a fork, to a sports injury, things happen. We are here to help.
For troubleshooting this braces issue, contact our office for an appointment to repair your bracket. Bring the broken bracket to the appointment with you. In the meantime, use dental wax for comfort.
Maintain proper oral hygiene to ensure that your teeth remain healthy and clean during orthodontic treatment. Braces are harder to clean around, so it is easy for food and plaque to build up. If you do not brush & floss properly, you can experience cavities and white spots. Some causes of staining include:
- Plaque & tartar buildup around your teeth – Maintain good hygiene and obtain regular cleanings at your dentist.
- Diet – Certain foods (turmeric, curries, wine, coffee) can cause the glue around braces or elastic ties to stain.
- White spots – These are the start of cavities. Very mild staining can improve over time, while moderate to severe stains will require fillings by your dentist.