Common Problems

It’s just a fact of life — braces get loose, wires stick out, and as a result, you may feel some discomfort.

If this happens, please call us during work hours so we can fix it. If a problem cannot wait until the office is open and you have tried the tips below, feel free to take a photo with your phone to help us understand the problem and text it to our after hours line (206-818-4339).

Why are my teeth feeling loose?

Feeling like your teeth are “loose” is normal during treatment. Don’t worry. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will once again become rigidly fixed in their new, corrected positions.

Sore cheeks

If you’re experiencing sore cheeks, please use the wax from your packet. Apply by rolling the wax between your fingers to warm it up a bit and then push it over the rough brace. Most times, it is just a matter of the cheek getting used to the braces, but please call our office if you would like to be seen sooner than your next regular appointment.

Loose wire

Don’t be alarmed if a wire becomes loose — this happens occasionally. Place wax on the wire to alleviate the discomfort and call our office as soon as possible to correct the problem. If this takes place over the weekend before you can get into our office, it’s OK to cut the wire next to the last brace. If any piece comes off, please save it and bring it to your appointment.

Sharp Wire

This can be caused by various reasons and can usually be fixed quite easily. If a wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (the back of a spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) to gently push the irritating wire away from the gums or the side of your mouth and back toward the teeth. Apply wax as needed. If this continues to cause discomfort, please give our office a call to schedule an appointment so we can correct the problem.

Loose brace

This is the most common issue to arise while wearing braces. The loose braces will either slide along the wire or come off the back end of the wire. Please save the brace and call our office right away to schedule a new appointment to re-cement the brace.


In the event of trauma to your mouth, please call us ASAP. We can either fix the problem or guide a solution. The braces can actually help with getting dislodged teeth back into proper positions.