Why Braces Become Loose and How to Fix Them

orthodontist fixing broken braces

Are you on braces? If yes, then you must be waiting for the time your treatment gets over. However, a broken bracket of braces can jeopardize your treatment plan.

If you have been wearing braces for a long time, you’ve probably experienced a broken bracket. But if not, it would help to know what broken or loose brackets look like and what to do about them.

What Causes a Broken Bracket?

Broken brackets are no fun. Following are some common causes of broken brackets that are related to your handling of braces.

  • Bracket attached to a wrong surface such as porcelain or silver filling

  • Mouth injury of any kind

  • Improperly brushing your teeth

  • Rough use of a toothpick

  • Consuming the wrong food

  • Unhealthy oral gestures such as biting nails, or chewing pens or any hard food

  • Weak attachment of the bracket with the tooth

  • Accidental placement of braces wire that got wet with your saliva

orthodontist fixing broken brackets

Some mistakes at the time of bonding can also cause broken brackets. For instance, teeth may come in contact with saliva during the bonding process, or the brackets may get bumped.

At Brite Orthodontics, we follow strict guidelines and procedures to avoid such mistakes. Our team of expert and experienced orthodontists are dedicated to providing you with the best possible care.

What Does a Broken or Loose Bracket Looks Like?

Loose and broken brackets lead to loose and broken braces and hamper your treatment progress. So you must recognize it and take action to repair or replace it ASAP. For that, you need to know what broken brackets look like.

And it’s not difficult to catch it. You will spot a loose bracket of braces lingering somewhere along the archwire. And yes, the braces wire will also be broken or loose.

The loose braces bracket might spin around as well. It may also come out, or you may swallow it. No need to worry in either case. Contact your orthodontist immediately to resolve the issue.

Does a Broken Bracket Hurt?

Generally, a broken bracket doesn’t hurt. However, it can be annoying if you’re experiencing a loose bracket that’s not broken altogether. This is because it constantly lingers inside your mouth. The loose wires from the braces may poke your gums and cause irritation.

What to Do if a Bracket comes Loose?

When you spot a broken or loose bracket, you should first secure it with orthodontic wax. This is only a temporary measure, but it will help you get to your orthodontist without discomfort. In the meantime, here are some useful tips for managing broken and loose brackets:

Cut the small archwires with clippers, or put some wax on them if the loose wires are poking your gums.

  • Use saltwater to rinse your mouth regularly to heal it.
  • Consume soft foods such as yogurt or boiled eggs.
  • Say no to hard or sticky foods such as carrots or apples.
  • Make sure the bracket does not rub on the gum and use orthodontic wax to hold it.
  • In case of dental brackets causing injury in the mouth, take a painkiller or prescribed topical pain reliever to alleviate your pain.
  • If the bracket falls off, try safely removing it using wire clippers, nail clippers, or tweezers.
  • You can use a pencil’s eraser end to put the braces wire in position softly.

How long can you go with a loose or broken bracket?

If you’re experiencing discomfort from a broken or loose bracket, it’s essential to reach out to your orthodontist as soon as possible. Though it may not be affecting your treatment progress, it’s still important to get it fixed. If you’re unable to fix it temporarily, request an emergency appointment with your orthodontist.

How to Avoid a Broken Bracket?

Precaution is always better than cure. To avoid breaking your brackets or wires, follow these tips:

  • Wear a mouthguard if you play sports, especially contact sports.
  • Don’t fidget with your brackets or wires.
  • Let your orthodontist know at the early stage when you spot loose brackets or wires.
  • Avoid biting hard objects such as pens and pencils.
  • Don’t consume food that is crunchy, hard, or sticky.

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Dr. Satish Pai, M.D.S

Dr. Satish Pai is an orthodontist and Ivy League trained dentist who has served as a faculty at Columbia University. He believes a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great. As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics and a Partner at Brite Orthodontics, he is dedicated to providing the best orthodontic treatments to his patients. He also writes to educate people about everything orthodontics and the importance of correctly aligned teeth along with good oral health. In his free time, you can find him golfing, doing yoga or surfing, and spending time with his family.

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