What to Expect when Having Braces

Common ER problem

  • Loose brackets or bands:
    Loose Bracket If they are still attached to archwire, leave them in place. If uncomfortable or bracket and band out completely, cover with wax and call for an appointment. Do not attach headgear or elastics to loose band or bracket.
  • Lost wire tie or O-tie: Call to see if need to come in for replacement or wait until next visit.
  • Wire out of tube: Try to replace wire back into tube with tweezers. If uncomfortable, place wax and call for an appointment.
  • Poking tie wire:
    Pokey Tie Try to bend wire back with a spoon or pencil eraser. If unsuccessful, cover with wax and call for an appointment.
  • Poking archwire:
    Poking Archwire If uncomfortable, cover with wax and call for an appointment
  • Headgear or appliance does not fit or break: Please call for an appointment.
  • Soreness from braces: Rinse mouth with warm salt water. If necessary, take pain reliever as directed for pain.


  • To prevent relapse after removal of the braces, the teeth must be retained or held in their new position using retainers until the tissues including the bone, elastic membrane surrounding the root, gingival or gum, the tongue and lips have adapted themselves and settled to the new tooth position.
  • The retention time will vary with each individual. On average, patients must be retained for about eighteen months to two years, sometimes indefinitely. The doctor will discuss with you individually about your retention time and options of different types of retainers after your orthodontic treatment.
  • Handle retainers with great care to avoid breakage and misplacement when not being worn in the mouth.
  • Place retainers inside the retainer case and do not wrap them in the napkins during or between meals to avoid throwing them out by mistake.
  • Do not place retainers in the pockets since you may break them easily when sitting up and down.
  • Keep your retainers away from your pets (especially dogs) since your pet can chew them up!