Broken Braces: What Should I Do if I Have a Broken Bracket?

Did one of the brackets on your braces break?

Don’t panic. Over 4 million people in the US wear braces, and you can bet your bottom dollar that a broken bracket happens a lot.

It’s easy to become careless if you’ve gotten used to wearing braces, and sometimes you forget you’re wearing them. Chewing on hard, sticky, or crunchy food can lead to breakage if you’re not cautious.

The good news is that your orthodontist can quickly fix broken bracket braces. They don’t usually require emergency dental services, but they can cause discomfort and, sometimes, cuts or sores inside the mouth.

Until you can visit your orthodontist for proper repair, here are some steps you can take to protect your mouth and ease the discomfort.

Assess the Damage

The first step is to assess the damage to your braces. A bracket that pops off is known as a floating bracket. There’s no need to panic since it’s not necessarily a dental surgery emergency.

However, a floating bracket may have taken others along with it. That’s because a metal wire links them all together.

If any brackets pop off completely, collect them in a small container. Bring the loose brackets with you to your appointment.

What to Do About a Broken Bracket That’s Still on the Wire

If the bracket is still on the wire, it can rotate and slide along the wire. While facing the wrong way, it can rub on the inside of your mouth, causing pain and irritation.

You can use clean tweezers to rotate the bracket until it faces the right direction. Slide it along the wire to place it on the center of the tooth or between two teeth. Secure it in place with the wax you use for orthodontic care until your next dental visit.

Check the Wires

The event that dislodged the brackets may have affected the metal wire or the archwire. The archwire can break, bend, or protrude from the end bracket.

A broken or protruding wire is pretty dangerous since it can poke your gums and the inside of your cheek. To address this, you can use a wire cutter or nail clippers to cut the wire as close to the teeth as possible.

You can also bend it around a secure bracket using a dampened q-tip. Make sure that the sharp end is facing away from the soft parts of your mouth. Point it towards the teeth if you can.

Again, you can apply the wax you use for braces care to cover up the sharp ends.

Schedule an Appointment

Your braces will still work even with one or two floating brackets. But you’ll also have to deal with the discomfort as long as they remain unfixed.

It’s best to book an appointment at the soonest possible date. Only a trained professional can stick the brackets back on and repair other issues with your braces.

Don’t Sweat It

A broken bracket happens all the time. Fortunately, your orthodontist can easily take care of this problem on your next visit. In the meantime, you can follow the tips in this article to make sure your mouth remains safe and healthy during this experience.

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