Today at least 25 percent of the Americans are wearing or have worn braces or a retainer. These are very helpful and help straighten your teeth. But they also come with a lot of responsibility. You need to be aware that wearing braces is a great responsibility, and it is a lot of work if you want them to function properly. You need to have a perfect oral care routine and clean your mouth and braces daily, after each meal. If you do not, food gets stuck between the wires touching your teeth. This has awful consequence. Your teeth will stain, and cavities can make their way into your mouth.

Braces need maintenance

Braces are sensitive, and you need to take care of them. Most braces problems you could have:

  • Broken braces (brackets)
  • Loose bands
  • Broken wires
  • Loose braces
  • Wires sticking out

If you have any problem with your braces, then you need to discuss this with your orthodontist. It is possible that you will have to go to the office right away, or you won’t be able to fix the problem until the next office visit. If the cause of the problem is an injury, like a blow to the mouth, you need to seek immediate help. Talk with your orthodontist, he will let you know if you require immediate attention or if it is a problem that can wait.

Do-it-yourself solutions

Wires, braces and bands sometimes fall off or break. This happens mostly because of chewing hard or sticky foods. Most of the times, only one of the parts will come loose. This will, of corse, will cause discomfort. Here are a few tips on what to do when you have some problem with your gear.

Loose brackets – the bracket is made of metal or ceramic that are attached to each tooth. Composite resin is the usually used material of attachment, and it is very similar to the material used for some fillings. The resin can weaken or even break if you eat hard or sticky foods. You need to be careful because it can hurt you and cause discomfort into your tongue, gums or cheek. Try to put some wax over the bracket to keep it from hurting you. Do this and schedule an appointment to the orthodontist to resolve the problem.

Loose band – the bands are metal rings that are cemented to the back teeth (sometimes the front teeth). It is possible for the band to become loose. When that happens, it needs to be re-cemented or replaced. It can even come off entirely, but you don’t have to try to put it back on. Take it with you to the next appointment. Only the orthodontist can resolve this issue

Loose spacer – also called separators, they are the rubber rings that reside between your teeth. Their purpose is to create a space between your teeth so that the orthodontic bands will fit your teeth comfortably. For this purpose, brass wire may be used. But some spacer can slip out of their position and fall out. If that happens, make an immediate appointment with your orthodontist to have that band replaced.