Orthodontic Discomfort: What to do if Your Braces Wires Poke You

Orthodontic Discomfort: What to do if Your Braces Wires Poke You

There’s no disputing the fact that braces are the ideal solution to crooked teeth and an improperly aligned jaw. However, just like with many other treatments that have a positive outcome, there can be some bumps in the road along the way. The most common complaint about having traditional metal braces is that the wires can sometimes come loose and poke the inside of your mouth or tongue.

This makes eating quite painful, as well as talking, and can arise from anything from something hard you ate or even just an awkward adjustment at the office. Not to worry, though, there are things you can do to fix the situation on your own until you can make your way to the orthodontist.

Of course, in a true dental emergency, you should call your dentist in Metro Detroit. However, simple wire pokes can often wait until the next day. So what can you do in the meantime?


Push it back in: First, take a look in the mirror. Is a wire bowed out, poking your cheek, while still in the bracket? In this case, use the tip of your finger or even the tip of a pencil eraser to coax the wire back into position.

Cut off the tip: We don’t recommend doing this on your own unless you have a steady hand or you can get a parent to do it. If you do attempt it, use a distal end wire cutter, which will secure the wire piece that you cut off so you don’t swallow it. 

Bend it: Another alternative is to gently bend the wire back into place. The best thing for this is the blunt end of a toothpick. Again, you can use an eraser head. Take your time so the wire doesn’t bend too much and break off.

Use tweezers: Using a magnifying mirror and thin nosed tweezers that have been disinfected, grab onto the end of the loose wire and guide it back into the bracket slot.

Apply wax: Grab that wax you got from the orthodontist’s office and put it to good use. Place a tiny ball of wax on the offending end of the wire. This will buy you some time until you can get to the office for a real remedy. Cotton balls or bits of gauze also work if you’re out of wax.

Call the orthodontist or dentist: Any time you encounter an out-of-place wire or broken wire, always call for an appointment right away. Orthodontists understand emergencies come up and usually do all they can to accommodate you. Don’t just let the issue go until your next appointment, as a broken or protruding wire means something’s not right. If you ignore it, you could be doing damage to your teeth and causing a delay in your braces treatment.

Contact Redwood Dental

Call Redwood Dental at 800-462-2222 to schedule your appointment. We have many convenient locations throughout Southeast Michigan for you to choose from.