Lee Orthodontics

How to Deal with a Broken Brace Bracket

Posted on September 8, 2020

family orthodontics

Braces can help you get your beautiful smile back. Teeth straightening corrects your misaligned teeth, giving you a confidence boost. The American Association of Orthodontists estimates there are over 4 million Americans wearing braces today.

Braces require special care throughout the treatment period. The brackets and wires are fragile. It is not uncommon to hear of broken brace brackets. If any part of your braces is loose or shatters, do not panic. Here’s how to handle this situation.

Common Causes of Broken Brackets

Braces can break or fall off due to a variety of reasons. Some of the common causes include:

  • Eating hard and sticky foods, such as nuts or candies
  • Sustaining a blow to your mouth
  • Using toothpicks
  • Incorrect and overzealous brushing
  • Rough flossing

While you may take all precautions to maintain your braces, accidents happen. What do you do after your brackets break? Here is a step-by-step guide on the measures you need to take.

Determine the Extent of the Damage

The first step is to analyze the level of damage to the braces. Check if the wire is still attached to the bracket. If the wire is not detached, you may gently push back the wire into place using a cotton swab. Cover the wire with orthodontic wax to prevent it from scarring your soft cheek tissues.

For protruding wires, you may use a nail clipper to trim the wire. Clip the wire to have it as close to the teeth as possible. Overly long wires can easily tear up your cheeks, causing a lot of pain and discomfort. After clipping, apply orthodontic wax over the wire and bracket. It may help prevent irritation before you get to the orthodontic offices.

For loose brackets, you can remove them if they come off easily. Orthodontists attach the brackets to adhesive teeth-colored resins that hold the wires in place. Do not attempt to repair the loose bracket yourself. Just carry the broken and loose parts on your next orthodontic visit.

Book an Appointment with Your Orthodontist

If you sustain a mouth injury, it is important to schedule a visit to the orthodontist office immediately. When you call the practice, the orthodontist may ask a few questions to determine if the case demands urgent attention. Most times, you can wait until the next appointment. However, your orthodontist may choose to see you sooner.

As you answer the questions, give as much information as you can about the incident. This helps orthodontists plan effectively for the necessary brace repairs. Remember to carry the broken parts as you go to see the orthodontist.

While You Wait

Given that most cases aren’t urgent, you may have to wait a few days before you get the braces repaired. In the meantime, you can gargle with warm, salty water to prevent infections if you suffered minor cuts. Swish the mouth for several seconds then spit it out.

If the pain and irritations become too much to handle, you may use oral medications to relieve the discomfort. Over-the-counter painkillers may also help. Hard and sticky foods may worsen the situation and it is advisable to avoid them as much as possible.

Braces are highly effective in rectifying tooth malocclusions. If your brackets break, take the steps above to stay in control of the situation. If you have a brace emergency, call Lee Family Orthodontics to schedule an appointment right away.