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Troubleshooting Your Braces

What should I do if my brackets or wires break?

If brackets or wires break, remove any loose pieces from the mouth, place them in a container to bring to the office, and contact us. If you have any pokey ends that are causing discomfort, do your best to dry that area and place a piece of dental wax over the pokey part.

What do I do if my teeth hurt?

Sore teeth are a normal part of achieving a beautiful smile, but it should never be unmanageable. Try a soft diet, and if it feels necessary, take a pain reliever that you normally take for your headaches – Advil, Tylenol, and Motrin are some examples. Just make sure that you are not allergic to these medications and take them with some food, such as a banana. If a particular tooth is hurting a lot, please let us know.

Pokey wire

At Leemin Orthodontic, all braces patients receive dental wax at the beginning of treatment to use when there are pokey wires or brackets. Dab the area dry with a clean paper towel and place a small piece of wax over the pokey part. Contact us to schedule a quick visit to have the pesky wire trimmed!

Can I get more wax?

You’re welcome to contact us to get extra wax at any point throughout your treatment. If the office is closed and you’re in a pickle with a pokey wire, you can easily find some dental wax in the floss section of a drugstore.

Can I play sports with braces?

Absolutely! Don’t let braces stop you from enjoying your favorite activities. Just be sure to wear a mouthguard if you are playing contact sports, and ask us about custom-made mouthguards to use over braces.

Can I play wind instrument with braces?

Yes! Dr. Leemin spent her middle school years playing the flute with her braces on, along with many members in her wind ensemble also touting their braces. It certainly takes some time to get used to playing your wind instrument with new appliances under those lips, but like all things, practice will make perfect.

Should I wear new rubber bands every time?

Rubber bands begin to lose their elasticity, or “oomph” after a few hours of wear. When replacing them after a meal or a brush, use a fresh one, but if you are out and about without your stash, just wear the same ones until you get home. It is better to wear a wimpy one than nothing!

I’m out of rubber bands

Please contact our office and we will have them available for pick up, or mail them to you.

Do I still need to see my regular dentist during treatment?

100% YES. Even though orthodontists are technically dentists, they do not have the same tools or x-ray machines to check for cavities or gum disease. In fact, when you are in orthodontic treatment, it becomes extra important to see your regular dentist routinely, to make sure that there are no cavities or gum disease brewing around those braces!

My gums bleed and hurt

Bleeding and swollen gums are usually an indicator of poor oral hygiene. The bacteria angers your gums, making them more likely to bleed and hurt when you brush your teeth. Try gently brushing around the gum – even if it bleeds initially – and massage the area gently but thoroughly. If the problem does not resolve after a few days of impeccable hygiene, or is limited to one small area, it may be another type of problem. If that is the case, please notify us!

Why do some people get white scars around their braces?

White scars, also called “white spots,” are usually due to poor oral hygiene during treatment. When plaque is allowed to sit on the teeth for a while without being brushed off, they start to “demineralize” or eat away the enamel. This weakening of the enamel causes scarring on the teeth, which becomes more visible once the braces are removed. Although the strength of the enamel often recovers after the braces are removed, the scars are permanent! Luckily, if you are doing your part to keep your teeth clean, the white spots should not happen in the first place. This is why you will hear an earful from Dr. Leemin if you get caught with dirty teeth!

My expander isn’t turning

Occasionally, expanders get stuck and the key is not able to turn the screw piece. After a few attempts, contact us and we will get that taken care of!