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Troubleshooting Your Braces

A true braces emergency is extremely rare but, every so often, a minor mishap can occur. If you’re ever in real pain or having an issue that you can’t fix on your own, call our orthodontic office at (864) 801-3500 and we’ll get you in for an appointment right away. Most of the time, following these comfort tips will get you back on track.

Sensitive Teeth

When you first get your braces on and after adjustments, your teeth and mouth might feel slightly tender or sore. This is perfectly normal and we promise it will go away quickly! To relieve sensitivity, dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm water. Swish and gargle the solution in your mouth for a couple of minutes and then spit it out (don’t swallow the saltwater). If the pain doesn’t go away after rinsing, you can also try taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.


It’s not uncommon for your lips, cheeks and tongue to become irritated after getting braces put on. They’ll toughen up and get used to the braces in a week or two. In the meantime, try swishing with a saltwater rinse (one teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of lukewarm water). We’ll also be happy to give you some wax to put over the parts of your braces that are bothering you. If you need wax, contact our office at (864) 801-3500.

Broken Bracket

To avoid broken brackets, stay away from really hard, sticky or chewy foods and wear a mouthguard when playing sports. If a bracket does break, don’t panic. For a broken bracket in the front of your mouth, dry it off with a piece of tissue and cover it with orthodontic wax. If it’s a bracket in the back of your mouth, you can carefully try to slide it off the wire and use nail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol to very gently clip any excess wire. Call us and we’ll let you know if the bracket needs to be repaired or if it can wait until your next scheduled appointment.

Poking Wires

If a wire starts poking your cheek, carefully use the eraser end of a pencil or a clean cotton swab to move it out of the way. Dry the wire with a tissue and cover it with your trusty wax. If you need wax, contact our office at (864) 801-3500. This should stop any poking. For a really long piece of wire, which can happen if you break or lose a bracket, use those sterilized nail clippers and very gently cut the excess and then cover what’s left with wax. Call us and we’ll schedule you for a repair appointment.

Lost Separator

Losing a separator happens sometimes and there’s not much you can do. Contact our orthodontic office at (864) 801-3500 and we’ll get you in to replace it.


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