This is one question that is frequently asked, especially now that school is out for the summer. Most common issues we find are pokey wires, broken wires, loose braces, lost Invisalign trays and lost or broken retainers.

Here are some ways to lessen the discomfort temporarily until you’re able to visit your orthodontist.

Pokey Wires: When the braces are placed, we provide our patients with a care kit that is supplied with wax. For pokey wires, we instruct the patients to take a pencil eraser size of wax, roll it into a ball, dry the area as best as possible and mold the wax around the pokey wire. Simply remove the wax when you need to eat or brush and reapply fresh wax.

Broken Wires: If your wire is broken, there may be a chance that it may shift to one side or the other in which case you can treat it as a pokey wire. Call your orthodontist to schedule an appointment so you’ll be seen as soon as you return.

Broken Braces: A broken brace can spin or slide on the arch wire which will be more of an irritant if anything. If it is causing discomfort, you may attempt to remove the broken brace yourself. Some braces have a “color ring” around them and by using a toothpick, you can remove the ring. The brace will then come free of the wire and allows you to remove the brace. Some braces are referred to as “self ligating” and instead of a color ring; there is a door that slides open. These are more difficult to remove as you need a special tool to open the door. Call your orthodontist immediately to schedule an appointment to repair the broken brace as soon as you return. Be sure to keep any braces you’ve removed, do not throw them away and bring them with you to your next appointment.

Lost Invisalign Trays: If you are being treated with Invisalign and you lose a tray, you’ll need to contact your orthodontist as soon as you can. Your orthodontist will order a new set. Replacement trays are generally received within 5 business days or less and can be shipped to wherever you may be vacationing. Unfortunately, an additional fee is rendered.

Lost or Broken Retainers: This is one situation where you’ll need to be seen by your orthodontist for a new mold of your teeth. It is a good idea to call in advance to schedule your appointment so once you’ve returned from your vacation, you’ll be seen immediately. This will reduce the amount of time your teeth have any chance of moving.


If your travel takes you away for a long period of time and you’re not able to wait to address the discomfort, feel free to contact a local orthodontist. As a courtesy, here at Windsor Smiles Orthodontics, we welcome visiting orthodontic patients that may need some comfort to ensure a memorable vacation.