Braces Checkup: Common Problems and Solutions for Parents

When kids need braces, they’ll have periodic follow-up appointments with their local orthodontist.

Luckily, there’s not much to worry about once braces are in place. When you visit Dr. Beauchamp, she will simply check on the braces to be sure they fit and they’re secure. X-rays or other images may be taken to make sure your kiddo is on track for the kind of results everyone wants.

Every mouth is different, but kids who get orthodontic treatment early on will usually see faster results than adults do. It’s not out of the ordinary for a child or young teen to have braces for anywhere from eight months to a little bit over a year. Straight teeth today mean healthier teeth long into the future!

That said, you can help kids succeed by knowing a little bit of troubleshooting.

Braces Are Nothing to Fear – Most Patients Never Experience Any Complications

For kids, teens, and even adults, the majority of patients never experience any complications with their braces. But accidents do happen, and kids can end up in situations where their braces need to be looked at between visits. Sometimes, common issues can be solved without going to the office.

But it’s very important you and your child communicate well!

Braces can take a little getting used to. After the first few days, though, they should never be uncomfortable. Yes, gums can get a little bit irritated at the start because the braces are new. After that, any discomfort means there’s an issue you need to address.

So, be sure children know they should speak up if things don’t feel quite right!

It’s probably a relief to know that braces can’t cause any conditions or long-term problems – they are 100% safe. By exerting gentle pressure on the teeth, they slowly move them into a treated position. This improves the balance between the teeth and distributes the bite force more evenly.

Braces today really will make things easier in the future.

But a few setbacks can crop up every now and then. They don’t happen often, but they’re familiar.

Here are the common problems with braces and what you should do:

1. Loose Band or Bracket

A loose band or bracket is much more likely to happen if a kid has been eating foods that are off-limits after getting braces. Apples, nuts, and other tough, hard foods can cause a band or bracket to get loose as the jaw strains. Thankfully, this has a simple fix and does not cause any discomfort.

If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, then you can simply leave it in place until your next scheduled appointment. If the band or bracket isn’t attached to the wire, or if it is bothersome, you can help hold it in position by applying some wax.

Call the office and we can advise you on the next steps to take.

2. Loose Wire

A loose wire can be caused by the same underlying issue as the loose band or bracket. But it doesn’t usually happen all at once. It is more likely to develop over time. A wire might be mildly distorted by crunchy food, allowing food debris to get under it, which gradually worsens the issue.

If noticed early on, a loose wire can usually be fixed before it becomes a more serious hazard!

It’s often possible to repair the loose wire by returning it to its previous position using a set of tweezers. If that doesn’t work, you can use a set of nail clippers to cut off the wire. Make the cut behind the last secured tooth. As long as most of the wire is still in place, it will not affect how the braces work.

3. Loose Wire

A poking wire is a bigger problem because it causes immediate discomfort for the kid. Loose wires are not usually caused by eating habits. The biggest cause of a loose wire is an accident, like a fall or a collision while playing sports. Kids should be sure to take a break right away to get an adult’s help!

Use an eraser to push the poking wire down into a position where it can’t do any harm. As before, it can be held in place with wax. It’s essential to call up your local orthodontist to get advice from there. It may be necessary to make long-term adjustments to the braces, including repairing the affected wire.

4. Loose Appliance

If an appliance is loose, it usually means time to see your local orthodontist. The appliance might need to be re-fitted, tightened, or replaced. Wax remains a great ally here – use it to shore up any spots where the appliance is poking to ensure comfort until your next appointment can be made.

5. Other Problems Not Described Above

Remember, any initial discomfort with your braces should clear up in 2-3 days or after the fit is adjusted by your local orthodontist. If you’ve had no issues with your braces and suddenly start to experience pain or discomfort, give us a call so you can get the help you need.

If there are two things to take away from all this, they’re these:

  • When it comes to braces and other dental appliances, wax is your friend
  • If you have any problems, be sure to get in touch with your local orthodontist!

None of these five issues will stop you from getting benefits from your braces, but they do need to be fixed – for your treatment, your health, and your safety. If you run into any of these little pitfalls of having braces, don’t worry! Dr. Beauchamp is here to help and will get you right back on track.

What About Clear Plastic Aligners?

Image-conscious teens love clear plastic aligners, and so do many adults. Some children can even use them – as long as they’re mature enough to keep them clean and leave them positioned for the right amount of time each day. But are there any issues to be aware of?

Clear plastic aligners don’t face as many risks as metal braces, but it is still vital to be careful with them. If a wire breaks on your braces, they can be repaired or adjusted. If your plastic aligners are damaged, then they will need to be replaced based on the images taken of your mouth.

This replacement can be costly, and it can take a few days to manufacture a new set. So, if your kids are using clear plastic aligners, be sure they handle them very carefully. Teach them how to gently clean the aligners and encourage them to remove the aligners before playing sports.

No matter if you have braces, aligners, or just questions about orthodontic care, Dr. Beauchamp is the local orthodontist you can trust. Our office is dedicated to a fun and friendly experience for patients of all ages. Set your consultation today for Port Orange orthodontics you and your family can rely on.


Don’t forget our consults are complimentary. Click below.