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Common orthodontic problems

Exposed wires

Sometimes an archwire is a little long and can scratch the inside of your cheek. This doesn’t usually hurt but can be uncomfortable – and annoying! We will give you some wax which you can mould and place over the protruding tip of the wire. The wax will need to be replaced as it may fall off when you’re eating but it will be an effective short-term solution until your next visit.

Orthodontic emergencies
Orthodontic emergencies

Broken wire

If an archwire breaks, contact us as we may suggest you come in for an emergency appointment when one is necessary and available, rather than waiting until your next scheduled appointment. A broken wire won’t stop your teeth from moving but it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible. Broken wires are easily replaced but you may want to mould some wax onto the edges of the wire if it is scratching your cheek.

Loose rubber

Sometimes a single rubber (module) or rubber chain may become loose or break. If this happens, you can cover it with some wax, but it’s still important to ring the practice and explain what has happened. We can then let you know if you need to come in for an emergency appointment and when one is next available.

Loose bracket

If a bracket has come away from the surface of a tooth this needs to be fixed as soon as possible. You may be able to move it gently back into position as a short-term solution but we will need to attach it again properly. Between the time the bracket has come loose and the time you come in to have it fixed, avoid hard and sticky foods.

Orthodontic emergencies
Orthodontic emergencies

Loose jaw expander

If your jaw expander has come loose we will need to secure it back into place as soon as possible to prevent any delay in your treatment. It won’t cause any harm while it’s loose and you may be able to move it gently back into position as a short-term solution but it’s important you call the practice to arrange an appointment. We will advise when an appointment is necessary and if so book you in when one is available.

Most of these common problems are often caused by eating the wrong foods. While you are receiving orthodontic treatment it is important you avoid hard, sticky and chewy foods as well as sugary drinks for the health of your teeth.