a dentist brushes a model of teeth with braces

Common Problems with Braces & How to Fix Them

Team Orthodontics

Braces help to straighten your teeth and correct a misaligned bite. You know that after wearing your braces for the recommended time, you'll have a smile you can feel confident about. The trouble is, that you're encountering a few bumps and obstacles on the path to a better smile.

Fortunately, some of the most common problems with braces can be easy to fix. In some cases, you can fix the problem on your own at home. Other cases might require you to schedule a visit to your orthodontist.

Food Stuck in Your Braces

When you have braces, the fear of getting a piece of food, such as a big piece of spinach, stuck in your teeth becomes amplified. There are just more nooks and crannies for food bits to lodge into when you have braces than when you don't.

If you have the sinking feeling that part of whatever you ate for lunch is stuck in your braces, sneak off to the bathroom or find a mirror and take a peek. It's a good idea to always have either a toothpick or some floss with you, so you can quickly get in there and remove the offending bit of food.

Along with being prepared to remove stuck pieces of food, try to avoid eating things that are notorious for getting stuck. Crunchy snacks and sticky sweets should be off-limits while you have your braces on.

Snapped Rubber Bands

The little rubber bands, or ligatures, that connect to the brackets can break off. While a broken rubber band can be a pain to deal with, especially if it snaps when you're mid-meal, it's not a major emergency. Since there are multiple ligatures in your mouth, the other ones will pick up the slack until you can get to your orthodontist for a replacement.

Broken Wires or Brackets

Broken wires or loose brackets can occur for a few reasons. Biting down on something hard or trying to chew on a tough piece of food can damage a bracket or wire.

If that happens, your orthodontist will have to fix it for you. Call the office and make an appointment. In the meantime, you can put dental wax on the bracket or wire to hold it in place and keep it from scraping your gums or the insides of your cheeks.

Bad Breath

You might notice that your breath smells a lot worse since you started wearing braces. It's easy for bacteria and food particles to hide or get stuck in the braces, which can contribute to bad breath. If you're particularly self-conscious about it, you can try brushing your teeth more frequently, such as after every meal. You can also rinse your mouth with water more often to help rinse away bacteria.

Sore Teeth and Gums

You might feel a bit of discomfort thanks to your braces. The braces are physically moving your teeth, which can cause a bit of soreness. If the pain is bad enough to bother you, you can try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Applying a cold compress to your mouth might also help ease the pain.

Process Takes Longer Than Planned

You thought you'd only have to wear braces for 12 or 18 months, but it's been two years and you're still wearing them. Sometimes, the process takes longer than anticipated, which can be frustrating. If you're ready to have your braces off, but your teeth aren't quite ready yet, try to be patient. Follow your orthodontist's instructions and know that soon you'll have the smile you've been waiting for.

Learn More About Solutions to Common Problems with Braces in Suffolk County, NY

If you’d like to schedule an appointment for a consultation to learn more about your child’s orthodontic treatment options, contact us today.