Common Problems

A Guide to Common Problems and Solutions for Manassas, VA Area Orthodontic Patients


It is completely normal to experience soreness upon first receiving your braces. This soreness will quickly fade, but you may use a salt water rinse to help with the discomfort. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of lukewarm – not hot – water. Rinse your mouth with the solution and gargle for a few minutes, but avoid swallowing.

If this rinse does not help, you may take an over-the-counter pain reliever. You may also notice soreness or tenderness in your tongue, lips, or cheeks for the first couple of weeks. Using wax on your braces can reduce this tenderness. Please ask us, and we will gladly provide you with appropriate wax for your braces.

Loose Teeth

Many people experience a sensation of loose teeth when they first get braces. This is to be expected. In order to adjust your teeth to the proper position, your braces must first loosen them. This feeling will dissipate on its own, but you can call us at Smileworks Orthodontics for any concerns.

Loose Wires or Bands

Accidents and certain foods can cause the wires, bands, or brackets of your braces to come loose. Please contact us if this occurs. If a piece of your braces has completely broken off, bring it into our office with you.

You can use the eraser end of a pencil to push the wire back into place gently. If the loose wire is irritating your cheeks or wips, use a moistened cotton ball or wax over the end of the broken wire to help. Remember that repositioning a loose wire yourself is only a temporary fix, and you need to be seen in our office.

Please let us know as soon as possible if you are experiencing any problems with your braces or appliances. We are here to help! You can reach us at (703) 383-0090.