Broken Braces? What To Do If A Bracket Or Wire Breaks

Welcome to Coastal Orthodontics’ guide on what to do if you experience broken braces! We understand that dealing with broken brackets or wires can be concerning and uncomfortable, but fear not – we’re here to provide you with the necessary guidance to handle the situation effectively.

Braces are a vital tool in achieving a beautiful, healthy smile, but they require proper care and maintenance. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and brackets or wires can break due to various reasons, such as eating hard or sticky foods, participating in contact sports, or even just normal wear and tear.

In this article, we’ll discuss the common causes of broken braces and provide you with practical steps on what to do if you find yourself in this situation. Whether it’s a broken bracket or wire, knowing how to handle it promptly can prevent further discomfort and ensure that your orthodontic treatment stays on track.

So, if you’re currently dealing with a broken bracket or wire, or if you want to be prepared for any future mishaps, keep reading to learn what steps you should take to address the issue and get back to your journey towards a perfect smile!

Common Causes of Broken Braces

Hard and Sticky Foods: One of the most common causes of broken braces is consuming hard or sticky foods that can put excessive pressure on the brackets and wires. Foods like nuts, popcorn, chewing gum, caramel, and hard candies should be avoided to prevent damage to your braces.

Trauma or Injury: Accidents happen, and sometimes trauma or injury to the mouth can result in broken braces. This can occur during sports activities, falls, or other accidents where the mouth is impacted. Wearing a mouthguard during physical activities can help protect your braces from damage.

Poor Oral Hygiene: Neglecting proper oral hygiene practices can also lead to broken braces. Plaque buildup around the brackets and wires can weaken the adhesive bond, making it more likely for brackets to become dislodged or wires to break. Brushing and flossing regularly, as well as attending routine dental check-ups, are essential for maintaining the health of your braces.

Chewing on Objects: Habits like chewing on pens, pencils, or fingernails can exert unnecessary force on the braces, increasing the risk of breakage. It’s important to avoid these habits to prevent damage to your orthodontic appliances.

Malocclusion: In some cases, misalignment of the teeth or jaw can contribute to increased stress on the braces, leading to bracket or wire breakage. Your orthodontist will monitor your progress throughout treatment and make adjustments as needed to minimize the risk of breakage.

Understanding the common causes of broken braces can help you take proactive measures to protect your orthodontic appliances and minimize the likelihood of experiencing an unexpected breakage. By being mindful of your eating habits, wearing protective gear during physical activities, maintaining good oral hygiene, and avoiding harmful habits, you can help ensure that your braces treatment progresses smoothly.

What To Do If A Bracket Breaks

  1. Assess the Situation: If you notice that a bracket has become loose or detached from the tooth, carefully examine the area to determine the extent of the damage. Avoid touching or manipulating the broken bracket with your fingers or tongue to prevent further irritation or injury.
  2. Rinse Your Mouth: Gently rinse your mouth with lukewarm water to remove any debris or food particles that may be present around the broken bracket. Swishing water around your mouth can help clean the area and alleviate discomfort.
  3. Check for Sharp Edges: In some cases, a broken bracket may have sharp edges that can irritate the soft tissues of the mouth. If you notice any sharp or protruding edges, use orthodontic wax to cover the area and prevent it from causing irritation or injury to your cheeks, lips, or tongue.
  4. Contact Your Orthodontist: As soon as you notice a broken bracket, it’s important to contact your orthodontist to schedule an appointment for repair. Broken braces can compromise the effectiveness of your treatment and prolong the overall duration of your orthodontic care, so it’s essential to address the issue promptly.
  5. Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions: Your orthodontist will provide you with specific instructions on how to manage the broken bracket until your next appointment. This may include temporarily adjusting your eating habits, avoiding certain foods that could further damage the braces, or making modifications to your oral hygiene routine.
  6. Keep Your Orthodontist Informed: If you experience any discomfort or changes in your braces between appointments, be sure to notify your orthodontist. They can provide guidance and support to help you navigate any issues that arise during your treatment.
  7. Attend Scheduled Appointments: Be sure to attend all scheduled appointments with your orthodontist to ensure that any broken brackets or wires are promptly repaired. Following your orthodontist’s recommendations and staying proactive about your orthodontic care will help ensure the success of your treatment and minimize the risk of complications.

By following these steps and staying proactive about your orthodontic care, you can effectively manage a broken bracket and prevent it from interfering with your braces treatment. Remember to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible if you experience any issues or concerns with your braces to ensure that they can be addressed promptly.

What To Do If a Wire Breaks

  1. Assess the Situation: If you notice that a wire has broken or become dislodged from its proper position, carefully examine your braces to determine the extent of the damage. Avoid touching or manipulating the broken wire with your fingers or tongue to prevent further irritation or injury.
  2. Rinse Your Mouth: Gently rinse your mouth with lukewarm water to remove any debris or food particles that may be present around the broken wire. Swishing water around your mouth can help clean the area and alleviate discomfort.
  3. Use Orthodontic Wax: If the broken wire is causing irritation or discomfort, you can use orthodontic wax to cover the sharp or protruding end of the wire. Simply mold a small piece of wax over the broken wire to create a protective barrier between the wire and the soft tissues of your mouth.
  4. Temporarily Adjust the Wire: In some cases, you may be able to gently push the broken wire back into its proper position using a clean cotton swab or the eraser end of a pencil. Be very careful when attempting to adjust the wire to avoid causing further damage or discomfort.
  5. Contact Your Orthodontist: It’s important to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment for repair. Broken wires can interfere with the effectiveness of your braces treatment and may need to be replaced or repositioned by your orthodontist.
  6. Follow Your Orthodontist’s Instructions: Your orthodontist will provide you with specific instructions on how to manage the broken wire until your next appointment. This may include temporarily adjusting your eating habits, avoiding certain foods that could further damage the braces, or making modifications to your oral hygiene routine.
  7. Attend Scheduled Appointments: Be sure to attend all scheduled appointments with your orthodontist to ensure that any broken wires or brackets are promptly repaired. Following your orthodontist’s recommendations and staying proactive about your orthodontic care will help ensure the success of your treatment and minimize the risk of complications.

By following these steps and staying proactive about your orthodontic care, you can effectively manage a broken wire and prevent it from interfering with your braces treatment. Remember to contact your orthodontist as soon as possible if you experience any issues or concerns with your braces to ensure that they can be addressed promptly.

Conclusion

Dealing with broken braces can be stressful, but knowing how to handle the situation can help alleviate anxiety and minimize the impact on your orthodontic treatment. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can effectively address common issues like broken brackets or wires and ensure that your braces continue to work effectively.

If a bracket or wire breaks, try to gently reposition it into place to prevent further discomfort or irritation. If you’re unable to resolve the issue on your own, contact your orthodontist for guidance and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Taking proactive measures to prevent broken braces, such as practicing good oral hygiene, following dietary guidelines, and wearing mouthguards during physical activities, can help minimize the risk of orthodontic emergencies.

If you have any concerns or questions about broken braces or orthodontic treatment, don’t hesitate to reach out to Coastal Orthodontics. Our experienced professionals are here to support you every step of the way and ensure that your orthodontic journey is smooth and successful.

Dr. Kaur

Dr. Kaur

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