Braces straighten out your teeth so you can enjoy a more beautiful smile and a better bite for eating and speaking. One of the most common problems orthodontist patients face consists of a broken bracket. Broken braces can just be an aggravation, or it can cause pain by poking you in the cheeks or gums and seeming like a dental emergency.
If you have a broken braces bracket, use these five steps from Hammond’s trusted orthodontist.
Five Steps for Dealing With a Broken Braces Bracket
Whether you broke your braces by eating crunchy or sticky foods, brushing your teeth too hard, or sustaining a mouth injury, follow the steps below to your benefit after breaking a bracket.
1. Save the Broken Pieces
Once you realize that you have broken a braces bracket, try to find any and all pieces so you can present them to your orthodontist during your visit. While your dentist can’t reuse the broken parts, they can investigate them to see where the weaknesses are and better understand what happened. You can keep the pieces in a sandwich bag or small, lidded container.
2. Check Other Parts of Your Braces
A broken bracket can pull at the wire in your braces or loosen other brackets on its way out. Using a regular bathroom or handheld mirror, smile at yourself and touch each bracket to test for looseness or irregular feelings. If you have loose or broken wires, take notes on their location and pull them gently to ensure they won’t slide out on their own.
3. Make Your Mouth as Comfortable as Possible
Broken brackets, loose wires, and other damaged parts of your braces can cause pain or injury to your gums, tongue, or cheeks. Cuts or puncture wounds from broken braces parts can cause swelling and more pain, making it important to address any broken parts still in your mouth. You can take steps to make your mouth more comfortable, including:
- Removing highly-loosened material from your mouth
- Utilizing a wire cutter or nail clippers to cut down loosened wires
- Using orthodontics wax to cover sharp edges on broken brackets
If you don’t feel comfortable clipping the wire down yourself, you can also bend it in such a way that it doesn’t poke into your mouth.
4. Call Your Orthodontist
After suffering a broken bracket, you should call your orthodontist to schedule an appointment. Explain that your braces broke, what parts broke off, what caused the break, and how you’ve patched it up until you can get in to see them. They may have suggestions to stay comfortable until your appointment.
If you don’t feel that your broken bracket can wait, or if the damage involves more than a single broken bracket, your orthodontist may suggest that you visit an emergency dentist. Symptoms like significant pain, broken teeth, or bleeding gums may indicate a more severe issue than a broken braces bracket.
5. Practice Good Dental Hygiene Until Your Appointment
Until you go for your orthodontist appointment, you want to maintain the best oral care possible so your other braces stay intact and in top condition. Keep brushing and flossing like normal, though do so gently so you don’t pull at other brackets or damage loose wires. You can also gargle warm salt water several times a day to help fight infections and keep any cuts or puncture wounds clean.
Each time you eat, brush your teeth, use the salt water gargle, and check your teeth for remaining chunks of food that could lodge in your braces and cause more trouble.
Keep Your Braces and Teeth in Great Condition With Maldonado Orthodontics
Suffering from a broken bracket that results in unexpected orthodontic treatment may feel uncomfortable, but acting quickly can save your teeth and your other brackets. Whether you need to repair broken braces brackets or want to know how long you can go without tightening your braces, call Maldonado Orthodontics in Hammond, LA, at 985-542-8719.