What to do After Breaking a Bracket on Your Braces

Whether you’re a teen with braces or an adult undergoing treatment, having to deal with broken brackets is one of the most common and inconvenient obstacles our patients must face while wearing their orthodontic appliance. While resilient, the brackets and wires that hold your braces in place can break for a variety of different reasons, including:

  • Eating foods that are too hard or by placing too great a strain on your braces
  • An injury to the mouth, such as what could happen while playing sports
  • Brushing using the wrong technique or with too much force
  • Picking at your braces with a toothpick or applying too much force while flossing

If you break a bracket, don’t worry. Dr. Carr and our team can easily fix the problem. Just make sure to follow the steps below to ensure that the damage remains minimal and the problem can be easily repaired.

Step 1: Assess the Damage

Start by assessing what damage has been done by checking to see if the wire is still attached to the bracket. If yes, then simply leave the bracket in place. If the bracket remains attached, but is sticking out in a way that’s uncomfortable, simply press the bracket gently back into position using a cotton swab. Once you have the bracket back in place, apply orthodontic wax to hold it into position until you can make an appointment with Dr. Carr.

If the bracket has come loose entirely, carefully remove it from the wire and bring it with you to your next appointment. If the bracket remains in good condition, Dr. Carr may be able to reattach it easily.

Step 2: Make Yourself Comfortable

If a broken bracket has caused the wire of your braces to jut out and poke, prod, or cut your cheek or gums, you need to fix the problem so you remain comfortable until your next appointment. Start by taking a look at the wire and clip any overlong or protruding part very carefully using nail clippers. If any extra length of wire remains, gently press the wire back into position against the tooth and cover it with orthodontic wax to fix it into position.

Your comfort will always remain our top priority at Carr Orthodontics. If your braces ever cause you any prolonged discomfort, please contact our office for advice on how you can fix the problem.

Step 3: Make an Appointment to See Dr. Carr

It’s important that you don’t wait until your next scheduled checkup to have your brackets repaired. How quickly you need to see Dr. Carr does depend on the level of discomfort you’re experiencing and the degree of damage your braces have suffered. When you schedule your appointment, make sure to mention that damage has occurred and can describe the amount and type of damage your braces have suffered.

Step 4: What to do While You Wait

While you wait for your appointment, rinse your mouth with salt water to help promote better healing, and try to eat more soft foods, such as fresh breads, yogurt, soup, and hard-boiled eggs to avoid doing any further damage. Make sure to avoid any hard or crunchy foods, even those you can normally enjoy, until after having your braces repaired.

That's it. So whether you’re a teen with braces or an adult undergoing treatment, having to deal with broken brackets isn't that big a deal after all. Just make sure to act quickly and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Carr to have your braces repaired and you'll be back on the road to enjoying a straighter, healthier-looking smile in no time.