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What To Do If You Break a Bracket

by Dr. Amer Hussain, on Aug 27, 2019 3:00:00 PM

If you broke your bracket, it can cause a LOT of anxiety. But don't stress, we got steps to fix your broken bracket until you see your orthodontist.

First things first: Stay calm

Broken brackets aren’t necessarily emergency level situations, they can be easily remedied by your orthodontist. You aren’t the first person to break your bracket and certainly not the last. Remaining calm will help you assess the damage without causing more by panicking. Also, try not to swallow the bracket (which means don’t play with it with your tongue). 

Secondly, assess the damage

Take a good look at the bracket and determine what’s wrong with it. If the wire is in place, leave it in place. Use a q-tip to push it gently back in place (if it’s sticking out). Use orthodontic wax to secure the bracket in place until you can see your orthodontist. 

If the bracket has come completely loose from the wire, remove the bracket and bring it with you to your appointment. 


Thirdly, double check all wires

So as we said previously, if the wire was still attached to the bracket push it back in gently and secure it with orthodontic wax. 

But if there are any protruding or overlong wires, use a pair of nail clippers to cut the wire as close to the teeth possible. Then cover up any extra wire with wax. 

Fourth, book your appointment

Next thing to do is to call your orthodontist and make an appointment to come in. Just keep in mind broken brackets are not a dental emergency and are quite common. 

Finally, in the meantime until your appointment

Since there is a good chance you may wait until you see your orthodontist there are a couple things you can do in the meantime to help prevent any discomfort

  1. Rinse your mouth with salt water regularly to promote healing from any cuts or sores that the broken bracket may have caused
  2. Avoid hard or sticky foods that can worsen issues with broken brackets. Try opting for softer foods like yogurt and cooked pasta. 
  3. Since broken brackets can cause sores and irritation as they rub again the mouth, you can treat the sores with benzocaine or ibuprofen


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