There are some common braces problems that wearers will start to notice once they have their braces put on. Braces are fundamental for creating a straight and healthy smile, however, they are no walk in the park as any wearer will tell you. There are some problems that may cause some minor discomfort and irritation. Knowing and understanding your braces and how to prevent common problems with braces will help you experience the straightening process more positively. Some of these issues might come up during your straightening process, it will be helpful to know when to relieve pain and irritation with common home remedies, and when to make an appointment for more pressing issues. Listed below are a few common braces problems and solutions that may be useful once you have your braces put on.
Loose or Broken Brackets
The first and often most common problem braces users will experience are loose or broken brackets. This is often caused by hard or sticky foods that can damage the brackets while eating.
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, (AAO) “In general, patients with braces must be careful to avoid hard, sticky, chewy and crunchy foods. They should also avoid chewing on hard objects like pens, pencils, and fingernails. And never chew ice. It’s much too hard on your teeth – even without braces.”
Additionally, brackets can also become loose or broken from physical contact which often occurs when wearers play contact sports. Be sure to wear a mouthguard when playing these sports to avoid damaging your braces and teeth. Avoiding activities and foods that may damage brackets will prevent the necessity of wearing braces for longer than scheduled.
If a bracket does become loose or broken, contact the McDonough Orthodontics office about scheduling an appointment as soon as possible. You can avoid further irritation from broken brackets by covering it with orthopedic wax until your appointment. Be sure to speak with your orthodontist about preventing further damage to your braces.
Misaligned and Protruding Wires
As any wearer will surely tell you, one of the most substantial braces problems is a misaligned or protruding wire. This is a common issue that wearers may experience between scheduled appointments.
Protruding and misaligned wires often poke and irritate the insides of your cheeks or gums which may result in some minor bleeding. If the wire is simply misaligned, you can take an eraser head and gently push the wire back into place as a temporary fix until your next appointment.
If the wire is broken and causing irritation to your cheeks or gums, cover the wire with orthopedic wax to protect yourself from damaging and scarring the inside of your mouth. Be sure to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible if these problems persist.
As one might expect, there are some general aches and pains that will come with wearing braces. These shifting pains can come from the initial application of the braces and scheduled tightening appointments. Although these pains are usually brief, they can prove to be an annoyance throughout the day.
A common way to help alleviate some of these pains is by taking a mild pain reliever like Tylenol. Be sure to speak with your orthodontist before taking medication before and after your appointment. Additionally, some cold foods can help provide relief like ice water and ice cream.
Another helpful tool in relieving pain is a bite wafer. A bite wafer is an orthopedic tool that reduces soreness and discomfort after the tightening process. Chewing on the wafer increases blood circulation in the teeth and gums which results in some pain relief. Speak with your orthodontist about using a bite wafer to help alleviate persisting pain.
Another braces problem that commonly occurs is mouth and canker sores. Mouth and canker sores can occur when the cheeks rub against broken or misaligned brackets and wires. If you start to notice general soreness of the tongue or mouth you may need to rinse your mouth with salt and warm water or antiseptic rinse.
Continue to apply orthopedic wax when necessary on broken or misaligned brackets and wires to prevent irritation within the mouth. If you are experiencing mouth sores, be sure to avoid spicy and acidic foods to avoid agitation of the sore and prevent unnecessary pain.
Again, if you are looking for pain relief, taking a mild painkiller like Tylenol will help. If you continue to experience canker sores and soreness within the mouth, speak with your orthodontist at your next scheduled appointment about ways to avoid this problem.
The Importance of Proper Braces Maintenance
Maintaining braces can be an ongoing and sometimes overwhelming process. Whether you’re avoiding your favorite foods, or tediously flossing after every meal, you may start to feel a loss of motivation in maintaining your braces. It is, however, crucial that you continue to take care of your braces to allow them to complete the job they’re made to do.
By ignoring your routine maintenance, you are prolonging the amount of time that your braces need to properly fix your teeth. Additionally, a lack of care can cause more serious and damaging issues like gingivitis, plaque, demineralization and more. Check out our oral health guide to ensure you’re taking proper care of your braces. If you have noticed broken brackets and wires, it is important to meet with your orthodontist as soon as possible to correct these issues and allow the straightening process to continue.
Take advantage of this list of common braces problems and solutions to ensure an effortless straightening process. Wearing braces may seem overwhelming at times but in the end, these minor issues will prove to be more than worth enduring for a healthy and straight smile.
Knowing how to alleviate these common problems will help create a more positive experience with wearing braces. If you have any questions about problems with your braces, pain relief, or proper maintenance, be sure to contact the McDonough Orthodontics office at your earliest convenience.