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What to Do if Your Braces Break

Posted on September 21, 2022

Woman smiling sitting in a dentist chair and a smiling dentist in the background.

Orthodontic braces are a wonderful way to strengthen crooked teeth. Braces are the key to a beautiful smile. This refined smile leads to confidence while also reducing the chance of certain oral diseases as well. According to the American Association of Orthodontists, overbite is the second most common reason people need to wear braces. Other reasons are:

• Aesthetics
• Overcrowding of teeth
• Reducing gaps between teeth
• Underbite

Braces are metal and consist of brackets placed over your teeth along with a wire that holds them in place. Braces are exceptionally durable. However, wear and tear can sometimes cause braces to break. So, what do you do if your braces break?

Steps to Take When Your Braces Break Suddenly

1. Stay calm if you feel the braces in your mouth breaking. You may feel them suddenly lose tension and become loose, or you may feel the bracket move out of position on the tooth. If you try to feel the damaged brace with your tongue, you may accidentally dislodge and swallow the bracket or cut your tongue on the sharp wire end. Calmly use a mirror to carefully inspect the damage. You will not feel discomfort unless the wire is bending

2. If the wire is intact, but the bracket has moved out of position, you can use a Q-tip to push it in place and secure it with dental wax. You will also want to check to see if adjacent brackets are intact. This is because when one bracket pops off, it can take others with it.

3. If the wires have loosened and you feel them poking your gums or cheeks, you could take a wire cutter or sharp scissors to shorten them. However, this is potentially dangerous. You could cut your tongue or send metal shards into your gums. Therefore, a better option is to bend the wire away from the soft parts of your mouth and tuck it underneath, facing toward your teeth to prevent it from poking you. Further, attach dental wax to the sharp end of the wire.

4. You will want to immediately schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to have the brace repaired. You may need to wait a day or two for the appointment. However, they will try to get you in as soon as possible.

5. While waiting to see the orthodontist, try to eat soft foods like yogurt and pasta to prevent further damage to the braces. Try to avoid hard or sticky foods at all costs in the meantime. These foods may cause further damage to the braces.

6. If there are any small cuts in your mouth from the sharp wires, take warm, salty water to rinse your mouth throughout the day. The salt will soothe your gums and cheeks and prevent bacteria from growing in the area.

Breaking your braces is not the end of the world. It is common. Just remember to stay calm and call your orthodontist as soon as possible. The steps above can help guide you through the process.

If you are looking for an experienced orthodontist, call Jacaranda Smiles today. We would be happy to collaborate with you to uncover your best smile.

Office hours

Monday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Wednesday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday 9:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Friday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Saturday By Appointment Only

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