What to do if my braces break?

Though we hope none of our patients at Balance Advanced Dentistry And Orthodontics will break their braces, we always like to prepare for the worst, just in case. To ensure that an inconvenient and unfortunate incident doesn’t cause you stress, we would like to tell you what to do if your braces break.

How do braces even break?

Balance Advanced Dentistry And Orthodontics only use high-quality metal, clear, and removable braces so you can have treatment that suits your needs without sacrificing your experience or results. Unfortunately, no matter the treatment option, your fixed or removable braces can break if not properly cared for.

Fixed braces can be damaged by eating the wrong foods, facial trauma, and being rough on them when performing oral hygiene.

Removable braces can become damaged by wearing them when eating, improper cleaning techniques or products, exposure to extreme temperatures, being stepped on, and being chewed up by pets.  

Are they dangerous?

Unless you have suffered a terrible injury, no, they are not. Often, broken braces are more annoying than an emergency and will still work on your teeth until you can come in for repairs. But that does not mean to procrastinate making an appointment. You still should get your braces fixed as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can use the following tips to make you a little more comfortable.

Wear Previous Trays

This tip is specifically for patients with our Invisalign clear aligners. We know many patients want to throw out their old trays when they advance to the next ones in the set; however, we encourage you to hold on to them! If your current trays get broken (or lost), you must wear your previous clear aligners to keep your teeth from regressing (shifting backward) too much. You DO NOT want to skip to the next in the set without Dr. Hernandez’s approval because this can have undesired effects. 

Eat Soft Food

Whether your braces are fixed or removable, damaged braces can make your mouth tender and sore. Eating soft food that requires little to no chewing can help you be more comfortable.

Soft food can also prevent further harm to your fixed appliances. Even if your mouth feels fine, you should still eat soft food to keep your fixed appliances in a stable condition until we can make repairs. 

Maintain Oral Hygiene

Sometimes, patients feel they shouldn’t perform their oral hygiene thoroughly or at all to avoid breaking the braces even more. Unless your braces (or injury, if applicable) are causing you unpleasant pain, you should continue to perform your oral hygiene as you would before the incident. You do not want to give bacteria and plaque a chance to build up and wreak havoc on your teeth and gums! As long as you are gentle, you should be completely fine! 

Use Orthodontic Wax

We love orthodontic wax and we believe every orthodontic patient should have some hand! It can be incredibly helpful even if your braces aren’t broken!

Orthodontic wax is a removable, waxy substance that you place on top of your braces in the spots that are bothering you. Its transparency allows it to blend in as much as possible, so you never have to choose comfort over style—even if you have clear braces or aligners! When applied, the wax is a barrier between the appliance and your skin, preventing uncomfortable poking and rubbing, which reduces the risk of open wounds and canker sores. The last thing you want when you have broken braces is an infected cut inside your mouth!

You could also try a topical numbing solution, like Orajel, to numb the area temporarily. But it will not stop the issues from progressing, so keep an eye on the problem area!

Cut Or Bend Broken Wires

If a broken wire is sticking out and causing irritation, use some wire cutters or nail clippers to trim it down! Try to get as close to the teeth as possible. Be careful not to nick yourself or swallow the metal wire trimmings! If you don’t have those tools handy or feel uncomfortable cutting the wire, bend it until it is as minimally invasive as possible. After bending or cutting, use orthodontic wax to prevent annoying friction or poking. 

Try To Hold The Bracket In Place

Try to push a loose bracket back into place and use orthodontic wax to hold it. If the bracket has been wholly separated from the braces, store it in a safe place until your appointment. 

It is imperative that you DO NOT try to glue brackets back on yourself and that you DO NOT try to separate a loose bracket from the braces. Doing so will only worsen the situation and could potentially cause permanent damage to your teeth!

What to do if my braces break?

Balance Advanced Dentistry And Orthodontics can get you and your braces back on track!

If your braces break, call Balance Advanced Dentistry And Orthodontics immediately! Be honest about what happened and as accurate as possible about the condition of your braces so we know the seriousness of the situation. Broken braces are no cause for panic, especially because you have Dr. Hernandez in your corner to make repairs and to help you throughout your entire orthodontic journey.

If you have more questions or want personalized guidance, contact our Duluth office to speak to a helpful team member or book an appointment! We are always happy to assist!