Solving Common Braces Problems

Changing Lives

One Smile at a time

Braces are a great way to achieve straight teeth. Though they are uncomfortable at times, the result will last a lifetime. After treatment, we guarantee that your smile will be bigger, brighter, and more beautiful. 

When adapting to braces, you must make minor changes to your lifestyle and oral hygiene routine. There are some other minor issues you will likely face throughout orthodontic treatment, but they won’t get in the way of your daily routine. 

Here is a McClaran Orthodontics-approved guide about common braces problems and how to solve them. 

How Do Braces Work?

Braces apply constant pressure to the teeth that eventually push them into a straighter and more desirable shape. Orthodontists adhere brackets to the teeth and connect them with archwires. 

At each checkup, Dr. McClaran adjusts the archwires to apply more pressure to the dental arch and thus gradually move the teeth into the desired position. After an average of one to three years, your teeth will have finished shifting. 

Braces Vs. Invisalign

If you’re on the fence about whether you want Invisalign or braces, you can always talk to Dr. McClaran about your options. 

We recommend Invisalign to teens or adults who don’t want brackets and wires attached to their smiles. Invisalign is a treatment that straightens your teeth through a series of specially-molded aligner trays.

Braces are just as effective as Invisalign and, with a few oral hygiene adjustments, will work perfectly in your treatment plan! You can also request ceramic or clear braces, which are much less noticeable than those with traditional brackets. 

Problems with Braces Care

The most common braces problems include:

  •     Difficulty practicing proper oral care
  •     Mild discomfort during treatment
  •     Staining 
  •     Loose or broken brackets, wires, and other components

Difficulty Practicing Proper Oral Care

While in braces, the patient will need to be extra diligent about their oral care. The brackets and wires in your mouth can create extra steps in regards to daily brushing and flossing, and you can develop cavities, gum disease, and more if your oral health is not cared for.

Mild Discomfort During Treatment

Because braces forcibly move your teeth, you will feel discomfort during adjustment appointments and a couple of days afterward. Dr. McClaran recommends both sugarless gum and mild pain medicines such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to help. 

Braces can also scratch the soft tissue in your mouth or cause mild irritation. To help, cover the irritating brackets with wax and request an appointment with Dr. McClaran to see if she needs to replace any pieces of your braces. 


When caring for braces, you must cut certain foods and drinks out of your diet that can cause staining (such as coffee or soda). If you aren’t careful, white scars can appear on your teeth after braces removal. 

Since the brackets cover a small square of each tooth, they protect the enamel under that square. The rest of your teeth will thus stain as you consume certain foods and drinks, while the square will remain the same color.

In order to prevent this, the patient will need to be very diligent to clean their teeth often. This will ensure that your teeth have a consistent color as the day you got braces put on.

Loose or Broken Brackets, Wires, and Other Components

Eating certain foods can cause many components of your braces, such as the brackets, wires, or bands, to loosen or break. If you have an orthodontic emergency, make sure to cover the component with dental wax and schedule an appointment with Dr. McClaran immediately. 

Tips on Caring for Braces

Take Care of Your Teeth

Brush your teeth regularly. Use specialized tools such as a braces brush and a floss threader to get into the hard-to-reach areas between your teeth and around your brackets. Add mouthwash to your daily routine to wash out remaining food particles. 

Avoid Sticky and Hard Foods

Most components of braces break when hard or sticky foods are involved. Nuts, popcorn, caramel, pretzels, apples, and more can cause an orthodontic emergency. Ask Dr. McClaran for a list of foods you cannot eat.

Prepare for Emergencies

Always keep an emergency kit with you containing dental wax, pain relievers, toothbrush, and toothpaste. If a component comes loose, secure it with wax. 

If a wire breaks, make sure to press it against your teeth and secure it until you can get an appointment with Dr. McClaran. You can use a pencil eraser or similar object to push the wire in, and top it with wax to avoid poking and inflammation of the soft tissue. 

Schedule an Orthodontic Appointment in Nolensville, TN

These common braces problems are the same that millions of people have experienced with braces. As long as you practice proper braces care and regularly attend appointments with Dr. McClaran, your treatment will go smoothly. For more information on braces, visit our braces page or contact us today!