Bracket braces

Oh No – A Bracket Came Loose on My Braces!

Austin, TX – If you wear traditional braces made of brackets and wires, it is not unusual to occasionally experience such as a broken wire or loose bracket. It is no reason to panic, but it will require a bit of attention. Broken braces can cause discomfort, and if left for long enough, can disrupt your treatment schedule. Pure Smiles Orthodontics offers the following tips if you experience a dental emergency.

Protect your mouth first. A broken wire or a loose bracket may be sharp and can cause damage to the inside of your mouth. You may not be able to get in to see your orthodontist right away, so take precautions to protect your mouth. Use orthodontic wax to cover any sharp areas. 

 A loose or floating bracket most likely won’t cause much discomfort but may be annoying. The brackets are attached to each tooth with a special dental adhesive, and occasionally, they can become loose. If it hasn’t come off the wire, you can simply use a pair of clean, sanitized tweezers to slide it to a place that feel comfortable. Once you’ve gotten yourself comfortable, don’t forget to call your orthodontist to schedule an appointment to have the bracket re-adhered to your tooth.

Broken wires can also happen sometimes, as can protruding wires. If this happens, the sharp end of the wire may poke into your cheek or gums, causing pain and sores. We recommend using a pair of clean nail clippers to carefully clip the wire at the last bracket to which it is attached. This will prevent it from injuring the inside of the mouth. You can also use orthodontic wax on the area.

If you forget and eat a food that is on the list of foods you should avoid while in braces, you may accidentally bend a wire. Foods that are too crunchy or chewy don’t mix well with braces. If you have a bent wire, it can work to effectively guide your teeth to their new locations. If you believe you have a bent wire, it is important to call your orthodontist right away, especially if you are still far out from your next regular visit. Since we only see you every several weeks, we don’t want to lose any treatment time because of a bent wire.

To avoid damaging your braces, make sure you follow all the care instructions given to you by your orthodontist. These include:

  • Avoid the foods on the no list – this includes any foods that are too hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy because these can damage the brackets and wires.
  • If you are an athlete, protect your mouth, especially if you play high contact sports. A blow to the mouth can damage your braces and cause injury.
  • Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and use gentle motions. Aggressive brushing can dislodge brackets or bend wires.
  • Don’t use toothpicks or floss too roughly.

If you have any questions or concerns, call your orthodontic office. Your Pure Smiles Orthodontics office can be reached by calling 512-215-2520.