Braces are sound metal structures that are designed to withstand daily wear and tear. However, the braces’ brackets are wires that are very fragile and susceptible to breaks. Breaks can occur when you eat foods that are incredibly sticky or tough to chew. Your brackets can also break if you floss or use a toothpick too hard, brush your teeth incorrectly and vigorously or endure an injury to your mouth.
If you notice that one or more of your brackets has broken, do not panic.
You will need:
Look to see if the wire is still attached to the bracket. If it is, don’t touch it. If it’s attached but sticking out, gently press it back into place with a cotton swab. Take some orthodontic wax to hold the bracket in place until your next orthodontist appointment. If the bracket is really loose and you can remove it without hurting yourself, do so. Bring it with you when you visit your orthodontist so they can reattach it.
If you notice any wires that are protruding around the broken bracket, take a nail clipper and cut them as close to your teeth as you can. Then, press whatever you can’t clip back into position and cover it with wax. If you do not cover the wire with wax you risk cutting up the inside of your mouth or cheeks.
Book an appointment with your orthodontist in order to have the broken bracket repaired. Let them know if you were able to clip and adjust or if the entire bracket has come off completely. If you have lost the part of the bracket that is broken, let your orthodontist know.
In the interim while you wait for your orthodontist appointment, rinse your mouth regularly with lukewarm salt water to keep mouth sores away. You may also want to avoid eating hard foods so you don’t further damage the bracket. Stay away from candies, apples and foods that are hard or crunchy just in case.
If the broken braces bracket is not causing you pain then you do not have to consider this situation a dental emergency. However, if you experience an irritation or soreness then visit your orthodontist right away. In the meantime you can take painkillers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help you deal with the discomfort caused by the broken bracket.