Common Problems

We’d like to say that all treatment goes smoothly, without much discomfort, but that’s not always the case. Here are some common problems that some patients may encounter during care.

Braces Issues

All braces will cause a bit of discomfort to start, but as your teeth start to move, this discomfort will subside. If your braces seem loose, sharp or cause you actual pain after treatment commences, please notify us right away.

Archwire Discomfort

Archwires are essential to all braces. They hold brackets in place and keep braces permanent. If the archwire of your braces is causing you discomfort or is getting too much food caught within it, please try brushing and flossing more thoroughly or consult Prentice Orthodontics.

Brackets Discomfort

Brackets are key elements of any braces. Whether colored or clear, brackets help move teeth into place. If your brackets feel sharp, are slipping or are discolored, please reach out to us. We can help.

Aligners Discomfort

Like braces, all aligners will cause some pressure and discomfort at first. Aligners more so because they come in different shapes and sizes. With each new size and shape, you will feel new pressure and discomfort. But this will subside. If your aligners are causing you actual pain and don’t seem to fit properly, please get ahold of us.

Orthodontic Expander Problems

The palate is another name for the roof of your mouth. A palatal expander is used for patients ages 7-15 to fix harmful bite issues. Palatal expanders can be painful at first, but this pain should fade. If your child is having issues or feeling pain sometime after treatment has started, consult Dr. Prentice. We will help you immediately.

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Brushing and Flossing Issues

If you’re having trouble figuring out how to floss or brush with braces or other appliances on, please follow our Brushing and Flossing Guide. Simply put, you need to brush and floss thoroughly, working to get food and plaque off your teeth in between the gaps of your appliances. Brush up to four times per day. Floss your braces and teeth at night. Replace brushes often. Use fluoride toothpaste for lasting care. And for removable appliances, soak them to remove plaque. You can also visit our FAQ and blog for more information.

Food Stuck in Braces

It’s a challenge to change your diet just for orthodontic treatment. But hard and/or sticky foods like candy and chips can get caught in your appliances. Sugary foods can fuel plaque and bacteria that would be easier to clean away without appliances in the way. If you have food stuck in your braces, work to brush or floss it out. Use mouthwash, fluoride toothpaste and water for best results.

Loss of Self-Esteem and Confidence

We understand that going through treatment can be a big change. What was once your normal smile has now been obstructed by braces, retainers, aligners or other appliances. But please understand that treatment is temporary. We consider “metal mouth” to be a compliment, but if you don’t agree, try adding a touch of color to your teeth with bright rubber bands. Rest assured It will only take a short amount of time to give you lifelong results and happiness. Ultimately, treatment will restore your long-term self-esteem and confidence. If appliances are hurting your confidence, please feel free to speak with us.

Types of Orthodontic Problems

If you’re wondering why people get orthodontic Treatment, you’re in the right place. See this list of orthodontic problems from the American Association of Orthodontists. There are many that require care, including:


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


Spacing problems can be caused by missing or removed teeth, but they can also be a cosmetic or aesthetic issue.

Upper Front Teeth Protrusion

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


Crowding occurs when teeth don’t have enough room to erupt from the gums. Crowding is typically corrected by expansion. Through this treatment, tooth removal can be avoided.


When upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth, it’s called “crossbite.” This common problem can cause tooth stratification and misaligned jaw growth.


When upper front teeth extend out over the lower front teeth, it is called “overbite.” Sometimes, overbite causes lower front teeth to bite into the roof of the mouth.

Open Bite

Proper chewing is affected by “open bite,” which happens when upper and lower front teeth do not overlap properly. Open Bite can result in a number of unwanted habits, such as tongue thrusting.

Dental Midlines not Matched

This type of problem is caused when the back bite does not fit and match appropriately, which impacts jaw growth and function.

We Can Help

If you’re considering getting care, please talk with Prentice Orthodontics. We offer FREE consultations and can guide you through all our treatment options. Let us help you get a healthy, beautiful smile today.


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