Common Problems

Helpful Tips to Common Problems

If anything on your brace equipment happens to be loosened or breaks, it’s more than likely not an emergency and can be resolved during a follow up visit to Harper Orthodontics. Simply just call your orthodontist during normal business hours and explain the situation. For the time beingyou will discover temporary remedies to common troubles on this page.

If you believe you are experiencing an emergency, please review our emergency info page for instructions on what to do.

Basic Tips

If there is a loose piece that you can remove, remove it and place it in a plastic bag or envelope and then bring it with you to the following appointment. If your braces are poking you, place soft wax on the part that’s sticking out. If the wire has slid to one side, you may gently pull it back to the other side with needle-nosed pliers, reinserting it into the tube on the back tooth. After alleviating your discomfort, it is vital that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your braces to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions to your treatment plan.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may become irritated for a few weeks as they learn a new posture and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You may put wax on the braces to lessen this discomfort. We’ll show you how!

Loose Appliance

If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part.

Loose Bracket

If your bracket or band is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if needed for comfort. If the bracket or band can be removed easily, place it in an envelope and save it to bring to your next appointment.

Loose Wire

Using a pair of tweezers or needle-nosed pliers, try to put your wire back into place. It is okay to use a piece of floss to tie the wire into place: tie the floss around the bracket in place of the missing colored o-ring. If you cannot put the wire into a comfortable position, and covering the end with wax doesn’t help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If the end of the wire is still sharp place wax on it.

Poking Wire

Using a pencil eraser, push the poking wire down or place wax on it so that it is no longer poking.

Below is a list of common orthodontic problems with a short description about each of them. If you think one of these problems is something you’re suffering from, please contact us to set up an appointment.


An underbite is characterized by the lower jaw extending out, causing the lower front teeth to sit in front of the upper front teeth.


The upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, sometimes causing the lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.


The upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, which may cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.


Proper chewing is impacted by this type of bite, in which the upper and lower front teeth do not overlap. Openbite may cause a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.


Spacing problems may be caused by missing teeth, or they may only be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue.


Crowding occurs when teeth have insufficient room to erupt from the gum. Crowding can often be corrected by expansion, and many times, tooth removal can be avoided.

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion

The appearance and function of your teeth are impacted by this type of bite. It is characterized by the upper teeth extending too far forward or the lower teeth not extending far enough forward.

Dental Midlines Not Matched

This type of problem is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which may negatively impact jaw and proper dental function.

Are You Having An Emergency?

Please review our page on emergency care to learn what you should do in case an emergency happens.
Emergency Info