Something is wrong with your braces...what should you do?

We know that things happen-- something may be poking you, something might pop off, something could break. If this happens, don’t panic. We have some helpful advice below that may save you time and ease your mind so you can fix the problem at home. If you still can’t figure out what to do, then give us a call. Many problems can be handled over the phone with helpful hints from our knowledgeable staff; however, if you need to be seen then we’ll make arrangements to see you in our office.

If you’re in need of a temporary fix to hold you over until your appointment, consider these simple tricks:

Wax. If your wires are poking you and causing discomfort, try placing a small ball of orthodontic wax over the sharp edge. Wax can also be used to cover brackets and other pointy spots that may be rubbing against your lips, cheeks, or tongue. Orthodontic wax can be purchased from most drugstores.

To apply dental wax: Remember to wash your hands first. Then, brush your teeth where you will be applying the wax. WAX DOES NOT STICK TO WET SURFACES. Therefore, dry the area with a Q-tip or tissue prior to applying the wax. Pinch off a piece of wax (about the size of a pea) and squeeze it to soften it. Then roll it into a ball, flatten it slightly, and gently push it onto the problem area of the braces. The wax should stay in place on it’s own.

Broken Bracket or Broken Appliance. If a piece of your appliance falls out, carefully place it in a container and bring it to your appointment. Please call the office so we can determine if you need to be seen sooner than your regularly scheduled appointment.

Ideally broken appliances should to be repaired within a week to prevent extending your time in treatment. Please note that we usually do not have time for added procedures such as repairing broken brackets or appliances during your regularly scheduled appointment since it will cause us to run behind with our other patients, especially if we were not previously notified that you needed a something repaired.

For patients who were instructed to wear rubber bands to hooks on your braces, stop wearing the rubber bands if something breaks until you see dr. Durrett for the repair

Shifted Poking Wire. If the wire is poking on one side, you can use clean tweezers or pliers to grab the wire and shift the wire to the opposite direction. If you are not able to shift the wire and the wire is poking, then try using a small piece of wax to cover the poking wire until your appointment (see video above on how to use wax). Please call the office so we can determine if you need to schedule your appointment right away--even if the issue isn’t hurting or bothering you.

Remember- your teeth won’t move properly if your appliances aren’t attached. If too much time passes, your teeth could shift out of position and your treatment time may need to be extended.

Forsus Parts Disconnected. The two main parts of the Forsus bite corrector are the spring and the rod. The spring is connected to the upper molar band and the rod is connected to the lower wire. When properly connected, the rod is inserted into the spring. Occasionally when opening the mouth wide, the rod will come out the spring. If this happens then compress the spring to make it as short as possible prior to inserting the rod back into the spring.

How to Fix a Poking Wire. It is important for you to check daily that all of your attachments are present on your teeth. If an attachment falls off, do not switch to a new aligner until you can schedule an appointment to have the attachment replaced.

We commonly use a metal ligature (a thin wire wrapped around the individual braces which has a twist-tie on one end) to secure the main wire to the braces. The twist tie can move out of place when eating or brushing causing the wire to stick out and poke the gums or cheek. Use a pencil eraser or other object to push the poking wire toward the tooth. If you are not able to move the wire, then try using a small piece of wax to cover the poking wire until your appointment (see video above on how to use wax).

Lost or Broken Aligner. If you lose an aligner, move up to the next aligner if you have it; otherwise, move back to the previous aligner. If the aligner only has a minor crack, then you may continue to wear the aligner; otherwise, you will need to move forward to the next aligner.

Remember, it is important that you are wearing your aligners 22 hours/day, so if you don’t have an aligner to put in then call our office so we can help you. Proper insertion and removal of the aligner will prevent aligner breakage

Broken Aligner

Lost Invisalign Attachment. It is important for you to check daily that all of your attachments are present on your teeth. Attachments are necessary on some teeth to act as a handle to allow the aligner tray to grab the tooth and apply the appropriate pressure for the desired tooth movement.

If an attachment falls off, do not switch to a new aligner until you can schedule an appointment to have the attachment replaced. Proper insertion and removal of the aligner will prevent attachment breakage.

Lost Attachment

Invisalign Not Fitting. We recommend you use chewies every time you place your aligners back on your teeth. This helps with proper seating of the aligners. Failure to use your chewies could prevent your future aligners from fitting well and your teeth will not move to the desired position. If your aligner is not fitting well, use your chewies several times per day in the area where it is not fitting to see if you can get the aligner to settle into place. If your aligner is still not fitting after one week of using your chewy, please call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Durrett. Please remember to bring all of your previous aligners with you in case Dr. Durrett wants to move you back to wearing a previous aligner.

DO NOT TRANSITION TO YOUR NEXT ALIGNER UNTIL ALL GAPS BETWEEN THE TEETH AND THE ALIGNER ARE RESOLVED.

Proper Invisalign fit

Sharp Edge on the Aligner. You may gently use an emory board or file to smooth the edge of the aligner if it’s causing lip or cheek irritation.

Mouth Sores. It’s normal for sore spots to develop on the cheeks, tongue, or lips as you get used to your wires or brackets. To treat them, try rinsing with mild solution of warm saltwater. Mix a pinch of salt into a cup of warm water and rinse several times. This can be repeated as needed until you have alleviated the discomfort or until your next visit with us.

Tooth Soreness. Many patients experience little to no tooth soreness; however, if tooth soreness is a problem then you may take over-the-counter medicine such as Tylenol or Advil.

Are you stressed about an orthodontic emergency? Don’t hesitate to contact us right away for more help. Call now.