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Occasional Problems

What to do if you have a problem with your brace.

If a problem arises with your brace, do contact us and we can help you. Some problems can be dealt with at home - we can advise you over the phone, or reassure you that it can wait until your next appointment. If you do need to come in then we will endeavour to book you an appointment to be seen on the same day, or within 24 hours.

Protruding Wire

Occasionally, the end of a wire will work itself out of place and irritate the mouth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax (see irritation of lips or cheeks for instructions on applying wax). If the wire is causing extreme pain and you are not able to see the Orthodontist soon, you may, as a last resort, cut the wire using a pair of nail clippers. To reduce the possibility of swallowing the snipped piece of wire, use a folded tissue or gauze around the area. Use a pair of sharp nail scissors or clippers to snip off the protruding wire. Relief wax may still be necessary to provide comfort to the irritated area.

Irritation of Lips or Cheeks

We understand that braces can take a little getting used to. Sometimes new braces can be irritating to the mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of non-medicinal relief wax makes an excellent buffer between the brace and mouth. Simply dry the affected area with a piece of kitchen roll so it’s free from saliva, and place a pea sized amount of comfort wax over the area of the brace which is causing irritation. Eating will then become more comfortable (do avoid hot drinks as this will melt the wax). If the wax is accidentally ingested please don’t worry, as the wax is harmless.

Loose Brackets, Wires or Bands

If any problems occur with your brace, for example, a loose bracket (metal square), or a wire catching, please contact the practice and we will advise you over the phone if an appointment is required, or if it is fine to leave until your next routine visit. Please keep hold of any loose brackets and bring them with you to your next appointment.

Food Caught Between Teeth

If food gets caught between your teeth and braces, simply remove the food by using an interdental or 'TePe' brush.

Elastic Modules or Ligatures Come Off

Tiny rubber bands, called modules, or small, fine wires, known as ligatures, hold the wire onto the bracket. If a rubber ligature should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using clean tweezers. If a wire ligature comes loose, simply remove it with tweezers. If the wire ligature is sticking out into the lip, but is not loose, it can be bent back down with a cotton bud or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation. When one ligature pops off or breaks, others may follow. Examine all ligatures adjacent to the missing ligature. Please do contact us to check whether the ligature needs to be replaced.

Mouth Sores

Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may be made worse by an irritation from braces. One, or possibly several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. This may be very uncomfortable, but please don’t worry. You may find prompt relief by applying a small amount of topical anaesthetic gel (such as Bongela® or Brace Relief) directly to the ulcerated surface, using a cotton swab. Re-apply this when needed, or as directed by the instructions on the product.


It is quite normal to experience discomfort for a day or two after braces or retainers are fitted/adjusted. It can make eating uncomfortable - the discomfort is both normal and temporary. Keep to eating soft foods. We advise taking pain relievers (whatever you would normally have for a headache) for the first few days if you experience discomfort.

“A huge, huge thank you to LSO for my daughter's beautiful smile! She finally had her braces off this morning and the results are absolutely incredible!”
“The whole team were always very helpful and pleasant and nothing was too much trouble arranging appointments for me. Thank you LSO for giving me back my confidence.”
“I will recommend LSO to anyone considering orthodontics regardless of their age. Leamington Spa Orthodontics gave me my smile back and that is priceless.”
“I can't make comparisons with other practices. The level of treatment received at Leamington Spa Orthodontics can’t get any better.”

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Leamington Spa Orthodontics is situated in a beautiful, period building in the heart of Leamington Spa.

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