At-Home Quick Fixes

Closeup of child with bracesCall our office as soon as possible if you are having any issues with your braces so that we can coordinate an appointment for you to be seen. If you have a regular appointment scheduled, still call to ensure enough time to do both your adjustment and repair.

The following tips will temporarily help until you can come into the office.

General Soreness

The lips, cheeks and tongue may experience some discomfort for the first week or two as they become accustomed to the surface of the braces. For general achiness of the teeth, acetaminophen or other non-aspirin pain relievers may be taken. Warm salt-water rinses can also offer relief. Mix one teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water, and rinse for 30 seconds twice daily. A warm washcloth or heating pad placed on the outside of the jaw can also alleviate tenderness.

Wire Irritations

Illustration of how to fix wire irritation on braces Illustration of how to fix wire irritation on braces

As the teeth start to move, the archwire may begin poking near the back of the mouth or irritating the cheeks. Misplaced or poking archwires and wire ties can also sometimes cause irritation. You can try moving the wire into a better position with a pencil eraser or a Q-Tip. Often, you can even use tweezers to gently move the misplaced wire or tie that is causing problems. Additionally, try placing wax over the poking wire. To help the wax stay in place, dry the area first with a paper towel, then kneed the wax to make it more pliable and put it on the wire.

As a last resort, if the wire will not move, you may be able to cut the end off with a nail clipper sterilized in alcohol — but before doing so, please call our office so one of the doctors can guide you through this. If the end of the wire is still sharp, place wax on it until you can make it back to the office.

Loose brackets or bands

Illustration of how to fix loose brackets

These problems are often caused by eating hard/sticky candy or foods or by playing with the braces. If the band or bracket is still attached to the wire, leave it in place and put wax on it, if needed, for comfort. DO NOT connect any elastics (rubber bands) to it until repaired! If the bracket or band has come completely off the wire, please save it. Place it in an envelope and bring it to your next appointment.

Lost Separators (Spacers)

Loss of a separator can happen as space opens causing the separator to fall out. If this happens, call our office to see if it needs to be replaced before your next appointment.

ForsusTM (Springs)

If your spring has separated from the push rod, try the following possible solutions:

Step 1 – Compress the spring.

Step 2 – Line up the compressed spring with the push rod and slide the rod back into the spring.


If you have trouble re-engaging the spring, or if something has broken on the spring and cannot be re-engaged, you can temporarily secure it with elastics (rubber bands) or dental floss. (See above photo.) If the spring or the push rod entirely disconnects, remove the loose piece from the mouth to avoid swallowing it. Place it in an envelope and bring it to your next appointment.

Rubber Band Wear

Rubber bands, also called elastics, are an essential tool for moving your teeth and jaw into the proper alignment. It is imperative to wear them correctly to avoid any setbacks in your treatment.

Class II & III – Louie & Elliot

Class II

Class III

Midline – Bill

Box – Elliot

Upside Down “V” – Louie

“M’s” – Greg

If you need any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to call us at (614) 888-4577!

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