Over 4 million people in the US wear braces. While about 75% of these patients are minors, about 25% of the individuals who wear braces are adults. Braces can make a big difference in keeping your teeth looking their best—that is, until a bracket falls off.
What should you do if a braces bracket came off? There are several steps you’ll need to take for your health and wellbeing.
Otherwise, the bracket could start scratching at the inside of your mouth, causing damage.
Here are the steps you need to take if you have a broken bracket. By learning what to do now, you’ll have a game plan in the event this happens.
Keep reading to learn more!
Why Did My Bracket Break?
First, it helps to understand why your braces bracket came off in the first place.
Even if you avoid hard foods and candies, floss and brush regularly, and follow your orthodontist’s instructions, brackets can still break. Usually, this happens when you:
- Brush or floss using too much force
- Use an incorrect technique when brushing
- Use a toothpick to pick at your braces
- Consume foods that are too hard for your braces
- Are injured while playing sports
Understanding why your bracket broke can help you avoid causing the same problem in the future.
First, it’s important to keep a level head. If you’re panicking over what to do if a wire comes off the bracket, you might struggle to take these next steps. Instead, take a breath before trying to fix it on your own.
While it’s not normal for a bracket to pop off, it can happen. Sometimes, making changes to your lifestyle for the sake of your braces can take time. For example, you might have accidentally taken a bite of food or candy you should instead avoid.
It’s okay! Remain calm as you follow these next steps for saving your bracket.
Assess the Damage
Before doing anything to fix your broken braces, it’s important to assess the damage. Is the wire still attached to your bracket on the tooth? If it is, keep it where it is.
Instead of taking any next steps on your own, call your orthodontist right away to schedule an appointment. Remember not to panic. Your orthodontist will help assess the damage and fix the broken bracket.
Is your broken bracket still attached to the wire but causing discomfort? You’ll need to press the bracket back into place on your tooth. You can use a cotton swab or your finger to push it back into place.
Is your bracket loose? Try to remove it with care. Then, bring it with you to your next orthodontist appointment for reattachment.
Once your bracket is back where it belongs, try using orthodontic wax or sugar-free gum.
Here’s how to use orthodontic wax:
- Wash your hands before touching your mouth
- Use a toothbrush to clean away debris from the braces
- Pull off a small amount of wax and roll it into a ball
- Place the ball over the loose bracket or wire
This creates a barrier between your gums and the metal.
Remember, orthodontic wax or gum is only a temporary solution. It’s meant to protect your cheeks and gums while you wait for your appointment. Orthodontic wax can also help ease irritation caused by loose wires.
Reduce Your Discomfort
Is the wire of your braces poking into your cheek or gums after your braces bracket came off? In that case, grab a small wire cutter or nail clippers.
You can trim the protruding wire to keep it from causing discomfort. If you can’t cut the wire, press or bend it onto your teeth with a wet Q-tip. Then, cover it with orthodontic wax.
Are you still in pain? Try using a saltwater rinse. Saltwater can soothe any sores and keep your mouth clean.
If you’re still experiencing discomfort, consider using an antiseptic rinse or numbing cream for oral care. Try to avoid hot or cold drinks and stick to soft foods in the meantime.
Sticking to soft foods will help you avoid causing additional damage to the bracket. These foods can include eggs, jello, yogurt, and soft bread. Avoid crunchy or hard foods including apples, tough meats, chips, and candy.
Schedule an Appointment
About 85% of children visit their dentist each year. Meanwhile, only 64% of adults schedule a visit. If your braces bracket came off, try to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist as soon as possible.
They’ll make sure the bracket is properly repaired.
Did your bracket fall out? Make sure to keep it safe in a plastic baggie before bringing it to your orthodontist.
When you call, let them know how much discomfort you’re experiencing. How intense is the damage? These factors can determine the urgency of your case.
Let your orthodontist know if you still have parts of the bracket with you. This will help your orthodontist prepare accordingly.
Broken braces aren’t always a dental emergency. Remember to assess the damage before you make a call. Assessing the situation will help you determine whether or not you need urgent care.
If not, you might decide to wait until your next scheduled appointment with your orthodontist.
While You Wait
It might take a few days before you can visit your orthodontist. There are a few things you can do in the meantime.
First, make sure to rinse your mouth out with saltwater throughout the day. Remember, salt water can help you heal any wounds on your cheeks and gums.
Avoid damaging your brackets further. If you play sports, stick to the bench until your next appointment. Remember to pay attention to what you eat as well.
Don’t neglect your daily oral hygiene routine. Brush twice a day and floss daily. This will ensure your braces remain in the best possible shape.
Make sure to clean and care for your braces properly, too!
Battling Broken Braces: What To Do If Your Braces Bracket Came Off
If your braces bracket came off, remember to schedule an appointment with your orthodontist right away. Your orthodontists in Orange Hills and Middleburg Heights, OH are here to help. With these tips, we can fix your broken braces before they sustain more damage.
Ready to schedule your appointment? Contact us today to get started.