Broken braces can hurt your mouth and extend the time you’ll need to achieve your perfect smile. Learn what common problems you might face while wearing braces, and how you can handle these problems at home before your next orthodontist appointment.
What Are the Most Common Problems Affecting Braces?
You’ll probably face one of these common problems if you wear braces:
- Broken brackets
- Broken or protruding wires
- Loose bands
- Broken rubber bands
- Loose spacers
If you notice a problem with your braces, call your orthodontist immediately. Depending on what went wrong, you may need to see your orthodontist right away for repairs.
How Can I Take Care of My Broken Braces Until My Next Appointment?
Learn how you can temporarily fix certain problems with your braces, until your next appointment. Always remember, that even the smallest issues with your braces need to be seen by your orthodontist, so schedule an appointment as soon as possible.
Broken or Loose Brackets
Your orthodontist attached metal brackets to each tooth when you first got braces. The brackets are affixed to each tooth with a sticky material called resin. Over time, resin breaks down, causing a bracket to painfully rub against your mouth. If you notice a loose bracket, apply a coating of orthodontic wax over the sharp edges of the bracket.
Broken or Protruding Wires
Wires connect all of the brackets and are the driving force in straightening your teeth. Wires often break due to the pressure placed on them for teeth straightening and from eating. If a wire breaks or protrudes, use a clean pencil eraser to push it into a comfortable position where it can’t hurt your cheeks or gums. Don’t cut the wire since you may accidentally swallow it. If you already have irritation from a broken wire, make a salt-water rinse of a half teaspoon of table salt dissolved into eight ounces of water. Swish this solution around your mouth to soothe discomfort as needed. You can also apply an over-the-counter oral numbing agent like Anbesol. If you don’t get relief, make an appointment immediately.
Bands are pieces of metal that encircle most of your back teeth and some of the front. They add strength to your braces to help keep them secure. Like brackets, they’re attached with resin, which can break down over time. If you have a loose band, try not to touch it. If it falls off, don’t try to put it back in place or throw it away. Make an appointment immediately and bring the band to have it reattached to your tooth.
A spacer is a rubber ring that’s inserted between teeth to open up room. Usually, spacers are only supposed to stay in place for a few days before your orthodontist removes them. If your spacers become loose or fall off, that’s a sign that you’re ready to proceed with band placement. Call your orthodontist for an appointment.
Broken Rubber Bands
Rubber bands that are placed over brackets occasionally break. If you notice a broken rubber band, call your orthodontist and tell them exactly which rubber band broke. You can usually wait until your next scheduled appointment to replace rubber bands, but your orthodontist may want to replace it sooner.
If you need help with your broken braces, book an appointment online today with Amazing Smiles Orthodontics of Forest Hills, Brooklyn and Long Island. Our team is dedicated to giving you the best and brightest smile possible.