Common Problems

Braces Diagram

BHO-Braces Diagram Final

A few helpful hints:

Check your braces routinely for anything loose, bent, or sharp. If a bracket or band comes loose, please call our office so that we can arrange an appointment to repair it as quickly as possible. If you run out of rubber bands, call us so we can either mail you some or drop by the office and we’ll have some ready.

Wire Problems

If a wire causes irritation, push the wire away from the area using the eraser end of a pencil or a Q-Tip. If the wire cannot be tucked away, cover the end of the wire with a small piece of wax, a cotton ball, or a piece of sugarless gum until you can see Dr. Cox for an adjustment. If these attempts do not help, please call our office for an emergency phone number.

If the main wire has come out of the tube on your back tooth, try to reinsert the wire with a pair of needle-nosed pliers or tweezers. If the wire is not sticking you, just leave it alone until you can be seen at the office. If the wire is sticking you and wax does not help, call our office for an emergency phone number.

Spacer Problems

Should a blue rubber spacer fall out, take two pieces of dental floss and insert them through the spacer. Pull-on both pieces of floss to stretch the spacer, then slide the spacer back and forth between the two teeth where it belongs. Once the bottom half of the spacer slips under the tight spot between the teeth, release and remove the floss and the spacer will fit back properly.

Bracket Problems

If a bracket breaks off of a tooth, it usually remains connected to the main wire. Please call us when the office reopens and we’ll schedule a repair appointment for you as soon as possible. Should the bracket come loose from the wire, please keep it in a Ziploc bag and bring it with you.

Retainer Problems

If your bonded retainer suddenly feels loose or sharp, call our office during working hours so that we can repair or replace it for you before your teeth start to shift.

Sore Teeth

After braces are placed in the mouth it is normal for the teeth to be sore for about 2 or 3 days. Tylenol or Advil will help relieve this discomfort. Chewing soft sugar-free gum can also help. Rinsing your mouth with a cup of warm water and teaspoon of salt can also be soothing. Some irritation to the cheeks and tongue is normal, but if you feel anything sharp is poking you or any sores are developing, please call our office at (404) 343-0677.


Orthodontic emergencies are uncommon, but it is important to know what to do in case they happen. If you have an appliance or a wire that is cutting into your gum and cannot be covered by wax, contact us as soon as possible.

If you lose a tooth, keep it in a container with milk if you are able to retrieve the tooth. Then immediately call your dentist. This emergency is best solved with your general dentist. However, we want to know about the issue. Ask your dentist to send the information our way or give us a call with the details.

If you experience major trauma to your mouth and have lots of bleeding, please go to the hospital immediately. However, we want to know about the issue as well. Please give us a call to let us know what happened.

We are here for you with any questions you may have! 

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