What to Do When Your Braces Break

When wearing braces, you must be prepared to expect the unexpected. At any time a bracket could fall off, a wire could start sticking out, or the wire could completely break off. Understanding how to properly handle these types of situations will help you reduce any discomfort you are feeling from the broken braces and prevent further damage from occurring to your braces.

There are dozens of different types of problems you can experience when you are wearing braces. We will explain why braces break and take a look at  the most common problems you may experience and explain how to handle it at home.

Understanding Why Braces Break

Rarely do braces just break. Typically, they break because of something that has been done to them.

Common reasons why braces break include:

  • Eating foods, such as hard candy or sticky foods, that you shouldn’t be eating with braces
  • An injury to the mouth
  • Brushing your teeth too rough, incorrectly, or too vigorously
  • Picking at your teeth and braces with a toothpick
  • Improper flossing

Understanding why braces break can help you take precautionary measures so you avoid experiencing the pain and discomfort of a broken wire or bracket.

A Wire Breaks or Protrudes Outwards

A broken wire is probably the most common problem you will experience while wearing braces. So it is important to know how to handle the situation if, and when, it occurs.

After a wire breaks or starts to stick out, your first instinct might be to want to cut the wire so it no longer is poking you or causing you discomfort. Unfortunately, this is the last thing you want to do. Cutting a wire could cause further damage to your braces and even present a health hazard as it will be extremely easy to swallow it.

If you have a broken wire or a wire that is sticking out, you can use an eraser to help gently move the wire into a better position that won’t cause you pain. Just take the eraser and very gently push the wire until it is in a better spot.

Moving the wire does not always help. If you still experience pain or discomfort after trying to move the wire, you can place orthodontic wax over the sharp end of the wire. This will provide a barrier between your cheek and the wire. The barrier will help reduce any pain or discomfort you are experiencing. It will also give you time to get into the orthodontist so the broken wire can be properly fixed.

A Loose or Broken Bracket

Brackets are the small pieces of ceramic or metal that are attached to the front or back of your teeth. These brackets are securely placed onto your teeth using composite resin, but sometimes they can become loose or even break off. When this happens, you will need to know what to do to fix it.

A loose bracket can be fixed with the orthodontic wax your orthodontist will give you when your braces are put on. The orthodontic wax will hold the bracket into place and reduce any pain you experience from the loose bracket. Using orthodontic wax is not a permanent solution. Using it will give you time to get into the orthodontist so it can be fixed.

If the bracket should fall off completely, do not attempt to put it back on. Save it so you can bring it to your orthodontist at your next appointment then call to schedule an appointment to have the broken bracket fixed.

Always Call Your Orthodontist When Your Braces Break

Before you try any of these quick fix solutions for broken braces, you should call your orthodontist’s office and talk with the office staff. The staff at your orthodontist’s office can assess your situation and determine if you need to come in immediately to have it fixed or whether you can wait until your next regularly scheduled appointment.

In some cases, your orthodontist’s office may be able to provide you with suggestions for things you can do to make yourself comfortable until you can come in for an office visit.

If you live in the Melbourne, Florida area, Dr. Reddick may be able to help you if your braces should break. Call our offices today to speak with one of our staff members to see how we can help you or to schedule an appointment to see Dr. Reddick.