When the brackets of your braces are broken, it can be an inconvenience. It can be one of the scariest things you have to deal with during your treatment program. Fortunately, fixing it is not that hard and it is not a cause for immediate concern.
Here we’ll discuss what causes the brackets to break, and what you can do if it happens to you.
What Causes the Brackets to Get Broken
It is common for brackets to break. In fact most dental professionals can attest that it is the common issue of patients.
This is due to the fact that these are fragile and lightweight particularly in kids’ clear braces. With this in mind, you should know by knowing what causes the brackets to break – and that is the food you put in your mouth. During your consultation, your orthodontist will suggest a list of food that you can and cannot eat. In general, you should avoid hard and sticky foods such as candies, popcorn, caramel, etc.
It is not that these can break as soon as you get your first bite of a hard food, but if you continue on eating one, the brackets could give in and snap. Remember that the cost for braces does not include replacement costs; thus proper care is very important.
A less common reason that these break is when you brush your teeth too vigorously is that it has caused injury to the mouth. When brushing your teeth, remember to apply only gentle strokes and in circular motion. This helps prevent snagging of the wire bracket and results in cleaner, healthier teeth. Mouth injury is often encountered during sports like basketball or football. Use a high-quality mouth guard to protect your teeth.
What Happens if a Bracket on the braces Comes Off
The most important thing to understand is that when the braces come off, it is not an emergency situation. Since it is a common issue there are many things you can do to treat it before your orthodontist can reattach it. If you choose to ignore it, the long term consequences will be noticeable.
The brackets will be responsible for applying pressure to your teeth to help it align into position. When the brackets are broken, this will result in the teeth returning to its original position.
If these have not entirely come off, you’ll experience mouth sores. This is due to the portion of the bracket that is not attached and it rubs to the cheeks and gums. Over time the problem will get worse, and if left untreated, it can cause infection.
Fixing a Broken Bracket
The most important thing you can do is to stay calm and assess the situation. Inspect the bracket and determine the extent of the damage. Check if it is still attached, or is entirely loose.
If the bracket is loose, you can remove it from your mouth and store it in a safe place. You need to bring it to your orthodontist on your next visit so they safely reattach it. If it is partially attached, check if the loose side is poking in your cheek or gums. Check for signs of bleeding.
Contact your orthodontist as soon as possible. Your orthodontist will ask you several questions to assess the situation. They will start by asking the extent of the damage. Describe what happened in great detail. You will need an appointment time to meet with your orthodontist to fix it and make the necessary adjustments.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2017). Dental braces. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/braces/about/pac-20384607