Loose or Broken Brackets 

Brackets are the part of braces attached to teeth with a special adhesive. A bracket can be knocked off for various reasons and does not usually cause discomfort. Loose brackets may be discarded, or rotated back into a more comfortable position on the wire (tweezers can be helpful) until an appointment can be arranged.

Wax can also be placed over the loose bracket if it is irritating.

If it is the last bracket in the back, you can remove the bracket. You can attempt to cut the wire if it is poking or you can place wax over the end of the wire.

DO NOT Attach elastics to a loose bracket. Call the office on the next business day to discuss.

Click on the link below to view a video clip on how to remove the bracket from the wire.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

If during treatment, any part of the braces is sharp and causing irritation, putting a buffer between the metal and the cheek to move the cheek away from the metal will provide some relief in the short-term until you can see your orthodontist. 

Using Orthodontic Wax:
- Drying the braces before applying the wax will help it stick better.
- Pinch off a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball. Flatten the ball and wedge the wax over and around the area of the braces causing irritation. The less wax you use, the less likely it is to dislodge during mouth function and the longer it will stay on.
- Warming the wax in your fingers will make it softer, stickier and easier to apply.
- If the area of irritation involves several teeth, you can flatten the wax into a thin long tape and wedge it over several brackets as a single strip.

Wire Irritations

Occasionally, the end of the main arch-wire will work itself out of place and poke out causing irritation (this often occurs at the very back of the braces).

Try covering the end of the wire with a small amount of wax. 

- In a situation where the wire is extremely bothersome, as a last resort, you may clip the wire using a sterilised pair of cutters or sharp nail clippers. Any damage to the braces can be repaired by your orthodontist; the priority is patient comfort. Please see the video clip below. 

Forsus Springs

These bite correction springs can make the teeth and jaws feel tender for a few days. If the patient is allowed to have over-the-counter pain relievers, then a regular dose of Nurofen or Panadol would normally be helpful.

 You may find cutting your food into smaller bite-sized pieces is easier than biting into foods.

The rods may make the inside of the cheeks a little sore. Place a cotton roll, folded tissue or make-up pad between the cheek and rod/spring to provide a buffer for the cheeks. Occasionally, mouth ulcers can develop in which case warm salt water rinses and topical anaesthetic can be used.

If a bracket becomes loose, please contact our office to arrange an appointment as soon as is convenient.

If the rod becomes separated from the spring (sometimes during yawning or opening the mouth too wide) try to re-engage the rod by compressing the spring and inserting the rod into the spring.

If any of the parts of the Forsus (ie, rod or spring) disconnects from the braces please remove the loose pieces to avoid swallowing and contact our office to arrange an appointment as soon as is convenient. If possible, please bring the pieces with you to your appointment.

Some additional helpful tips for Forsus are shown in the video link below.

Broken Chain

Elastic connected links going from bracket to bracket.

If this comes off you can remove the entire chain or simply cut what has come off. Please refer to our video for a demonstration of this.

Breakages of fixed retainers (ie, wires bonded behind your teeth)

If your fixed retainer is loose but is still comfortable and you are currently wearing clear removable plates at night, you may continue to wear your removable plates every night until we are able to repair your fixed retainer.

If you do not have a clear retainer please call on the next business day. 

If your fixed retainer is loose and the wire is causing some discomfort (eg, poking wire), you may try to cut the wire with nail clippers or sharp nail scissors. If you are currently wearing clear removable plates at night, you may continue to wear your removable plates every night until we are able to repair your fixed retainer.

If there is a sharp area you can use a nail file to smooth the area until we can repair it.   


Maxillary Expander

Speech Exercises

Orthodontic appliances can sometimes cause temporary speech difficulties. The more you practise speaking the sooner you will be able to speak normally again.

These short exercises are designed to help you. Read them aloud as many times as you like and they should help your tongue learn how to pronounce words with your appliance in place.

Click here for your series of short exercises

Our Treatments

At The Orthodontic Specialists, our specialist orthodontists use modern technology to meet your individual orthodontic needs and complete your treatment with efficiency and stunning results.

Patient Forms

To save waiting queues and to leave more time for you to ask questions at your appointment, please print and fill in our new patient forms.