How to Fix Broken Braces: Easy and Effective Ways

October 19, 2023

Braces are a common orthodontic solution for achieving that picture-perfect smile. However, life with braces isn't always smooth sailing. There could be instances where a bracket pops loose, or a wire breaks, often causing discomfort or even pain. It's essential to know how to handle such orthodontic emergencies to prevent further complications. 

Understanding the Common Causes of Broken Braces

Here are some common causes of broken braces:

  1. Eating Hard or Sticky Foods

Chomping down on hard foods like candies, nuts, or ice can exert excessive pressure on your braces, leading to broken brackets or bent wires. Similarly, sticky foods can get caught between braces and pull them loose.

  1. Accidents

Accidents like falls or sports injuries can cause severe damage to your braces. It's advisable to wear a mouthguard during physical activities to provide some protection to your braces and teeth.

  1. Incorrectly Using Dental Appliances

Using dental appliances like toothpicks, flossers, or even attempting DIY adjustments to your braces can result in damage. It's essential to follow your orthodontist’s instructions on how to properly clean and care for your braces.

  1. Natural Wear and Tear

Over time, the daily wear and tear can loosen brackets or wires, especially if the braces are not well-maintained.

  1. Poorly Fitted Braces

If braces are not fitted correctly in the first place, they are more susceptible to breaking. Ensuring you see a reputable orthodontist for fitting and adjustments is crucial.

Understanding the common causes of broken braces is the first step towards prevention. The subsequent sections will provide actionable steps on what to do if you find yourself facing a broken brace, ensuring you're well-equipped to handle such situations with ease and confidence. 

Remember, while minor issues can often be temporarily fixed at home, it’s imperative to consult with your orthodontist to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment remain uncompromised.

Immediate Steps to Take After Breaking a Brace

Discovering a broken brace can initially be a bit alarming, but fear not! Taking the right steps promptly can mitigate any discomfort and prevent further damage. Here's a step-by-step guide on what to do immediately after you notice a broken brace:

  1. Don’t Panic

First and foremost, remain calm. It's a common issue that many individuals with braces encounter. Remember, it's usually not a dental emergency, although it may require a visit to the orthodontist.

  1. Examine the Damage

Gently feel around the affected area with your tongue or a clean finger to understand the extent of the damage. Is it a loose bracket, a broken wire, or a missing band?

  1. Save any Pieces

If any pieces have come off, save them in a small bag or container to show to your orthodontist. They might be able to use them during the repair.

  1. Rinse Your Mouth

Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to soothe any irritation and to keep the area clean.

  1. Avoid Further Damage

Steer clear of hard and sticky foods, and be gentle when brushing and flossing around the broken brace.

  6. Schedule an Orthodontist Appointment

Call your orthodontist to explain the situation and schedule an appointment. While waiting for your appointment, continue to keep the area clean and free from irritation.

These immediate steps aim to minimize discomfort and prevent additional damage. It's crucial to remember that while these measures provide temporary relief, consulting your orthodontist for a permanent fix is essential to ensure the ongoing success of your orthodontic treatment.

Easy Ways to Fix Broken Braces

Subsequent to taking immediate steps to avoid further damage from the broken braces, you can apply some quick fixes at home before you come in for consultation.

While these DIY solutions are not a substitute for professional orthodontic care, they can provide temporary relief from discomfort and prevent further complications. Here are some easy ways to address common issues with broken braces:

1. Protruding or Broken Wires

Orthodontic Wax: Cover the sharp end of a broken wire with orthodontic wax to prevent it from poking your cheeks or gums.

Pencil Eraser: Gently push the wire back into place using the rubber end of a pencil eraser. Be cautious not to apply too much force.

2. Loose Bands or Brackets

Temporary Re-attachment: If a bracket becomes loose but is still attached to the wire, use orthodontic wax to reattach it temporarily to its position.

Save it: If a band or bracket falls off completely, save it and bring it to your orthodontist.

3. Misaligned Archwire

Orthodontic Pliers: If you have orthodontic pliers, you can attempt to realign the archwire. However, this requires a steady hand and a good understanding of how braces work.

4. Loose Spacers

Repositioning: Use a pair of sterilized tweezers to put a spacer back in place if it falls out.

5. Irritation

Orthodontic Wax or Silicone: Apply orthodontic wax or silicone on areas where braces are causing irritation to the cheeks, lips, or tongue.

While these solutions can provide a reprieve from discomfort, they are temporary fixes. It's imperative to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist to address the issue professionally and ensure your orthodontic treatment stays on track. 

Ready to Ensure Your Smile Stays on Track?

The journey to a perfect smile is a collaborative effort between you and your orthodontist. At Quest Ortho, we are dedicated to providing personalized care and solutions for any orthodontic hiccup you might face, including broken braces. Our team of experienced orthodontists is here to ensure your treatment progresses smoothly and comfortably.

Don’t let a minor setback like a broken brace delay your path to a stunning smile. It's essential to address orthodontic issues promptly with professional help to avoid further complications. 

Schedule your visit with us at Quest Ortho today, and let’s work together to keep your smile journey moving forward seamlessly. Your beautiful, healthy smile is our priority, and we’re here to provide the expert care you deserve.

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