Common Complications with Braces

teenage boy with glasses and braces smiling

Brace are extremely common and generally considered to be low risk. However, there are some complications that can arise, especially when you don’t keep up your dental hygiene habits while wearing braces. Here are five of the most common complications, plus some tips on how to avoid them!

1. Enamel Demineralization

Enamel demineralization occurs when the enamel wears away from the surface of the tooth, often primarily caused by sugar. If enamel demineralization is left unchecked, it can lead to cavities and tooth decay, which will be visible as stains on the teeth.


Come see Dr. Stroope for regular check-ups during your, or your child’s, braces treatment, as she will check your smile for signs of enamel demineralization and catch any problems early on. Maintain good oral hygiene habits including brushing and flossing. (Check out Braces Guide for tips on how to best brush and floss with braces.)

2. Gingivitis

Gingivitis is more likely to occur with metal braces, rather than clear braces or removable orthodontic treatments like Invisalign. This condition can be painful as it causes the gum tissue to become red and sensitive.


Be especially vigilant in your flossing when you have braces, as rampant plague can eventually lead to the development of gingivitis. We also recommends brushing preferably thirty minutes after eating.

3. Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity can happen to everyone, but it’s common with those wearing braces as difficulty keeping the gum line clean can lead to gum recession.


In addition to brushing and flossing regularly, also add a fluoride mouth rinse to your oral hygiene routine. Keeping your whole mouth as clean as possible will help prevent sensitivity.

4. Bad Breath

Bad breath is an extremely common complication to have when wearing braces. This is due to the many small spaces that can act as traps for food.


If possible brush your teeth after every meal or snack. Sometimes this isn’t convenient or possible, and when that is the case, try to rinse your mouth vigorously with water or mouthwash.

5. Tartar

Tartar forms when plague is left on the surface of the teeth and hardens. Deposits of tartar are easily stained and often lead to the development of more plague, thus more tartar.


While wearing braces, you should consider limiting your consumption of hard and sticky foods. These can break your orthodontic treatment appliances and can also lodge themselves in the spaces of your teeth.

Brushing and flossing are always important, but they’re even more important when you are wearing braces. Be consistent with your checkups with Drs. Trogdon and Stroope, and don’t hesitate to ask the team if you have any questions or need any tips about caring for your teeth while wearing braces. Just like you, we want your smile to be straight and healthy!

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