(818) 980-5300 5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.
Valley Village, CA   91607

Bite Problems and Braces

Problems with your bite, or the way your teeth and jaw fit together, can wreak havoc on your mouth. It can be painful, unattractive, and lead to other problems like tooth decay. A bad bite, or malocclusion, is one of the most common reasons that orthodontists fit patients with braces.

What does it mean to have a bad bite?
When your doctor says you have spacing or alignment problems, it’s likely that you have a bad bite. This includes crooked, crowded, or protruding teeth. A bad bite also includes having your upper and lower jaws meet improperly, even if your teeth look straight. Also, bite problems can be caused by teeth that are too close together or too far apart.

What causes bite problems?
The most common causes of bite problems are thumb-sucking, heredity, early tooth loss, and mouth trauma.

What are the benefits of correcting bad bites?
Braces can help with problems related to bite issues in a number of ways, including:

  • Appearance – correcting a bad bite creates a more appealing smile, and therefore also improves your self-esteem.
  • Tooth wear – an uneven bite can cause abnormal tooth wear, which sometimes leads to the need for crowns or veneers. Braces can correct this problem before your teeth have a chance to wear inappropriately.
  • Jaw problems – a misaligned bite can lead to painful conditions like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
  • Teeth cleaning – it is difficult to clean crooked, crowded, protruding, and overlapping teeth. Properly aligned teeth can be more thoroughly cleaned, and therefore have less decay.

Contact our orthodontics dental office in Sherman Oaks, CA to schedule an appointment!

Common Problems with Braces

Wearing braces on your teeth can transform your smile into what you’ve always wanted. To achieve beautiful results, you may have to experience a little discomfort and a few hiccups along the way. Here are some common problems with braces, and suggestions for handling them.

Loose bracket
If a bracket becomes loose, remove it to take with you to the orthodontist’s office. If it’s not easily removed, leave it on your tooth if it is not causing irritation. Make an appointment to have the bracket glued back in place as soon as possible.

Poking wire
There are several things you can try if a wire is poking your cheek or gums. Place a ball of wax on the wire, or cut the piece of wire that is sticking out with a nail clipper. Another option is to bend the poking wire down with a pencil eraser or other smooth object so that it no longer pokes you. See your orthodontist to have the wire properly repaired.

Poking hook
Some patients have brackets with small hooks on them to attach rubber bands. These hooks can poke or irritate your lips or cheeks. Use a pencil eraser to push the hook in, or put a ball of wax on it.

Wire missing from back brace
Hard or sticky foods are often the culprits of bending or breaking the wires on your back braces. If this occurs, use tweezers or needle nose pliers to reinsert the wire into the hole in the back brace. If that’s not possible, clip the wire to lessen the irritation. See your orthodontist as soon as possible to have the wire replaced.

Sore teeth
It is normal for your teeth to be sore at the start of treatment, when wires are changed, or when appliances are adjusted. Discomfort should go away in 24-72 hours. It may help to rinse your mouth with warm water, eat soft foods, and take over-the-counter pain relievers. Contact your orthodontist if pain persists more than a few days.

Sherman Oaks orthodontist for braces

Mehdi Fotovat, D.D.S.


5445 Laurel Canyon Blvd.

Valley Village, CA 91607

(818) 980-5300

Our practice is conveniently located on Laurel Canyon Blvd. between Burbank Blvd. and Chandler Blvd. in Valley Village. Free parking is available behind the building.

Our Hours

Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:20)

Wednesday: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-1:30)

Thursday: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Friday: 7:30 am – 3:30 pm (closed for lunch 12-12:30)