A broken braces bracket is the most common inconvenience orthodontic patients face when wearing traditional braces. The brackets and wires are fragile and can break for a number of reasons:
- Eating the wrong foods.
- Sustaining an injury to your mouth, according to Arizona-based Frost Orthodontics.
- Brushing teeth incorrectly or too vigorously.
- Using a toothpick or flossing roughly.
If you discover one of your brackets has broken, follow these steps to ensure it can get fixed with no complications.
What's the Damage?
First, check to see if the wire is still attached to the bracket. If so, leave it in place. If it's attached but sticking out, press it gently back into position using a cotton swab. Use orthodontic wax to hold the broken bracket in place in your mouth until you can arrange to see your orthodontist.
If the bracket has come loose, remove it if you can easily and bring it with you to the orthodontist for reattachment.
Review the state of the wires from the broken braces bracket. According to Marlo Miller, DDS, you should clip overlong or protruding wires very carefully with a pair of nail clippers and as close as possible to your teeth. Press any extra length back into position against the tooth and cover with wax to prevent it from cutting the inside of your mouth or cheeks.
Book an Appointment
Make an appointment with your orthodontist to have the bracket repaired. The urgency for seeing your specialist depends on how much discomfort you're experiencing and the degree of damage. Notify him or her as to whether you have the parts of the bracket with you. This will enable your orthodontist to be prepared to fix the bracket during your appointment.
While you wait for the appointment, rinse your mouth regularly with salt water to promote healing, and eat soft foods such as boiled eggs, yogurt and fresh breads to avoid doing further damage to the bracket. Avoid hard, crunchy foods such as apples, raw carrots and even sticky candies.
If you have mouth sores resulting from the broken braces bracket or the archwires, use a product such as Colgate® Orabase® 20% Benzocaine to help soothe and heal your mouth. Take an over-the-counter painkiller to reduce the discomfort.
A broken braces bracket doesn't necessarily mean it's a dental emergency. Examine your mouth carefully and decide whether you need urgent attention or it can wait until your next scheduled appointment. Usually, if you're not experiencing pain from a broken bracket or a loose wire, you can probably wait.