What to Do When a Bracket Breaks?

In a perfect world, you will go to the orthodontist to get braces and they will stay in place until your treatment is completed. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the unexpected happens and a bracket falls off or becomes unattached from your teeth. Knowing how to properly handle this type of situation will help you to quickly and easily reduce any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing.

While you might not be experiencing any problems with your braces right now, it is a good idea to always be prepared for the unexpected. We will guide you through exactly what to do if one of your brackets breaks.

Why Do Brackets Break on Your Braces?

Ideally, your braces are designed to not break. They are strong, sturdy, and durable enough to withstand eating some of the toughest foods or the force created when you grind your teeth, but sometimes they break.

The brackets on your braces may fall off or come unattached because the binding agent used to keep them to your teeth wears down. Orthodontists use a special orthodontic glue known as composite resin to attach the brackets to your teeth. Most of the time the glue properly bonds to the teeth and holds the brackets in place, but sometimes that bond is completed. When the bond isn’t properly completed, the glue fails to hold the bracket to the teeth and they pop off or come unattached.

Even if the bracket is properly glued to your teeth, you can still experience problems. Eating food that is too hard or sticky, experiencing a sports injury, or engaging in bad habits such as biting your fingernails or chewing on pens, can create enough force that even properly glued brackets can come off or break.

What to Do Should the Bracket Completely Fall Off

If the bracket on your braces comes unattached from the wire and falls off the front of your teeth, the first thing you need to do is not panic. While it will eventually need to be fixed by your orthodontist, it isn’t an emergency unless you are in pain or uncomfortable.

When the bracket completely falls off, try not to swallow it. Instead, remove it from your mouth and put it in a safe place. You will want to bring it with you to your next appointment with the orthodontist. If you do happen to swallow the bracket or lose it after removing it from your mouth, it isn’t a big deal. It is just easier for your orthodontist if you bring the bracket in.

What to Do Should a Bracket Come Unattached but Not Fall Off

Brackets will sometimes become unglued, but will still stay attached to the wire. When this happens it is called floating because the bracket is floating in your mouth. Floating brackets are not considered an emergency unless they happen to be irritating your gums or cheek.

If you do experience any pain or discomfort from a floating bracket, a tiny piece of orthodontic wax can help you. Take a small piece of the wax and put it around the bracket. This will help relieve your pain and discomfort until you can visit your orthodontist.

Notify Your Orthodontist of the Broken Bracket

You don’t have to immediately call your orthodontist to let them know that a bracket broke, but it is generally a good idea to call them within a day or two of the situation. When you call them, explain what happened when the bracket broke and let them know if the bracket is floating or completely unattached. Also, let them know if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort.

After you have notified them of the situation, your orthodontists staff will determine if you need to come in for an emergency appointment to have it fixed. Sometimes, if your appointment isn’t too far away, you can wait until your next appointment, but sometimes you may need to come in earlier to have the bracket re-glued.

Have you recently had one of the brackets on your braces fall off? If so, call Stevens Orthodontics. Our friendly office staff will be able to help walk you through what you need to do. Should you need an emergency appointment, our staff will gladly schedule you for an emergency appointment to have your braces fixed.


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