Common Orthodontic Problems, Poking Wire, Wax Placement, Wire Cutting


If you have ever underwent a true orthodontic treatment, you understand the care required to maintain them. Braces, a headgear, retainers, and aligners are just some of the popular orthodontic appliances today. Given the nature of your orthodontic issue, you might use a different device as treatment. Because of that, your treatment plan may cause a greater need for orthodontic care.

Today, let’s answer the most common orthodontic care questions as well as when it is wise to seek help.

Direct injury to mouth or teeth, face swelling, or severe pain

If you experience a major direct injury to the mouth or teeth (fall and break your front teeth), face swelling, or severe pain due to wire or appliance ulcerating the gums that cannot be solved with home remedies, you need to ask for medical help. Here, you can call and make an appointment with your regular dentist or orthodontist if you are currently in treatment. If there is not the option of seeing them right away, then you should go to the emergency room instead.

Orthodontic Appliances Problems

Today, there is an array of orthodontic tools which can provide excellent treatment. But, as with everything else, orthodontic appliances can, too, break or become distorted. Although, those problems occur and can be uncomfortable, they are not considered true orthodontic emergencies and normally can wait until next appointment:

  • You lose a braces elastic band – bands serve to keep the braces working at all times, and are easily replaced. This is often one of the most common issues for seeking orthodontic care.
  • A loose bracket – brackets are usually attached to the teeth, and as patient eat not recommended hard foods, the bracket loosens. Should that happen, get it replaced at the next appointment and make sure all other brackets are firmly positioned on the teeth.
  • Poking wires – most braces have supporting wires which apply pressure on the teeth and keep them moving. Sometimes, or as the teeth move, the wires move as well. In many cases, the wire can poke out the braces, causing irritation or pain the gums, inner cheeks, and tongue. Also, habits like chewing on hard objects like pens and pencils can impact the wire position, too.

Most orthodontic offices will provide you orthodontic care by scheduling extra time for your next orthodontic appointment. In case you are having an orthodontic problem, it is best to try to handle it at home first.

Soreness in the mouth

All orthodontic treatments will eventually cause some degree of discomfort. Mostly, you will notice a slight pain or tenderness when biting, chewing. Typically, these symptoms are initial and will likely go away. Sure, if you are feeling uncomfortable and uneasy, don’t hesitate to ask your orthodontist for a milder sedative.

Other areas in which you may experience soreness include the cheeks and the lips. Know that the cavity will need some time to get used to the braces, so let it.

What can you do in the meantime?

You can still help yourself with common orthodontic issues. Here are a few useful tips to serve you:

  • Try eating softer foods in the first week of orthodontic treatment. Eggs, rice, yogurt, and mashed potatoes make soft dishes for the first days of wearing an appliance. Avoid chewy and sticky products, by eating foods that don’t make your teeth work harder than necessary. Also, keep cold foods away for a while. Ice creams, icicles, and iced drinks may cause excessive sensitivity in the teeth and gums.
  • Occupy your mind with something else. Instead of thinking about the discomfort you’re having, try avoiding it. Spend your first days of treatment relaxing or doing an activity you like – swim, paint, cook…the choices are limitless.
  • Meds – milder over the counter pain reliever can help you manage the uneasiness you feel. Take an Tylenol as something to help you kick off the pain, but keep its use moderate per manufacturer instruction.

What if my appliance becomes loose?

If you have orthodontic metal bands and the appliance becomes lose, remove it and bring it to your next orthodontic appointment. If the appliance is still attached, place a bit of orthodontic wax on the loose end of the device or polish it gently with clean nail file until is more comfortable. The wax makes the wires smoother, so it will keep you more comfortable until you get proper orthodontic care.

What if I have loose brackets?

Make sure to notice whether the bracket is still attached to the wire. If this is the case, let it be and wax it for the time being or remove it completely. If it is detached, warp and save the bracket for your orthodontic care appointment.

What if my wire becomes loose?

This is where tweezers become your best friend. Use tweezers to reattach the wire in its respective place. If you cannot reach the wire with tweezers, try using wax to alleviate the pain. If that doesn’t work as well, take a small fingernail/cuticle clipper and cut the wire at the lose end to get comfortable. Press it in if needed by using a pencil eraser and wait for your appointment.

What if my teeth feel loose or moving?

Actually, this is exactly what the treatment does. It moves the teeth around so they fall into their corresponding place. As the teeth move, you might feel they are looser, but they will be once again settled after finding their suitable place.

To prevent discomforts during teeth movement, try to use warm water and rinse the mouth. Combine 1 teaspoonful salt and 8 oz. water. Mix well and rinse the mouth for 30 seconds. Also, apply a warm cloth on the painful area before going to sleep.

For any other questions or to schedule an appointment, please call our office – we got your back!

One of the best orthodontist near me is IVANOV Orthodontic Experts


Amazing experience! I’ve had my braces for 6 month now and I’m impressed of how much my teeth have changed. No pain at all. Dr. Ivanov is such a sweet person and very professional, he knows what he’s doing and always cares for patients personal concerns. Highly recommended!

Tula Garcia

Dr. Ivanov was amazing. When I first got my braces I was scared it was going to last 4yrs for my teeth to look better but it only lasted 2yrs and the results are beyond amazing. I’m really happy with everything and would absolutely recommend him to anyone. Thank you so much.

Kimberly Martinez

Very good experience. The attention was great. The doctor is very punctual and they don’t make you wait, which for my busy schedule is super important. Also, the time the doctor told me I had to wear the braces was the exact time I needed and I was very happy with the results. Definitely recommend him.

Laura Jimenez

Dr. Ivanov was amazing. He was very understanding and took the time to explain, every step of the process for my daughters braces. I am proud to say with great care her braces were finally removed and the end result is the beautiful smile she now has. Thank you

Christina Jenkins

Ivan and his staff made my experience a smooth and convenient process. I am absolutely delighted and satisfied with the progress and how far my teeth has come. Ivan and his staff works effortlessly to ensure that my teeth are perfected beyond my expectations. If I had any other choice I would still choose Ivanov Orthodontic experts.

Joshua Xavier

My family and I are so happy with the results of Dr. Ivanov!!! So knowledgeable, kind and always available to answer questions. I am so happy we found him and his staff. I am looking forward to addressing my dental needs now that the family is on track!!! How many can say that about their dental experts. Way to go Dr. Ivanov!!!

James C. Murphy

He is awesome. You will start seeing changes quick in your smile. He shows passion in his work, he cares about you and your smiles. The office is very nice and great customer service. You will be in good hands if you choose to go with him.

Ketty Platon

Supplemental Content

Once you become aware that there is something wrong, you need to think about and decide whether it is:

  • Nothing to worry about- you are just getting used to wearing braces.
  • A slight inconvenience – if it does not improve it will be worth calling your orthodontist office and finding out what has happened.
  • A real emergency – when this is decision made, then you should call your orthodontist office right away and have the issue dealt with.

You need to be realistic as unlike with our general health; there are very few issues that can be classed as a genuine dental emergency. There are three, and they are:

  • Facial injury – this can be because of a fall or a sporting accident. Neither can be anticipated, so if either happens, you will have to let your orthodontist office know.
  • Swelling – if there is it is likely that an infection has set in and this is going to need treatment.
  • Severe pain from wire or appliance that cannot be resolved by home remedies  – most likely wire or appliance is piercing or ulcerating inside of the mouth.

If any of the above occurs, then you should make an emergency appointment with your orthodontist as handling of orthodontic emergencies. If there is not the option of seeing them right away, then you should go to the emergency room instead.


Your own dentist will be well trained and will also have access to antibiotics if they are what is needed. If the problem is that the tooth is cracked or broken, then this is something that they will have dealt with on a regular basis. They will be able to start off the treatment and set out appointments with your orthodontist to do the rest of the work later.

As you should now be able to see, there are not many real emergencies, but you do need to act when there is one. The handling of orthodontic emergencies should always be swift and effective.


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IVANOV Orthodontic Experts
12866 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami, FL 33181

Call us at (786) 540-1919 to schedule a free orthodontic exam.


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