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What to do with poking wires and broken brackets video

By October 4, 2011February 15th, 2023Orthodontics, Video
what to do with poking wires and broken brackets

At Aura Orthodontics, we know orthodontic emergencies are never convenient or timely. As a rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you cannot take care of yourself.  We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem. If you have an orthodontic emergency after regular office hours, please give us a call. If you are calling us after hours, please follow the message to learn how to contact Dr. Sharma.

Overall, there are usually three common emergencies with braces. Let’s delve into the specifics of each of them with this video and article.


This is, by far, the most common orthodontic emergency. Broken brackets can be caused by moisture contamination from the glue – mostly from your saliva – at the time of bonding. And unfortunately, most broken brackets are caused by eating hard foods or horseplay.

Typically, orthodontists provide patients with a list of foods they shouldn’t eat during treatment. These foods are on this list because they can easily break braces.

What to do if you have a broken bracket:
If a loose bracket is at the back of the mouth – you will want to try to remove the bracket from the wire.

If your loose bracket is in the middle or the front, take a piece of wax from your container, break a little piece off and roll it into a ball. Gently dry the bracket with some cotton, and roll the wax over it so that it does not bother you.

After you have placed the wax – the next thing you should do is identify which tooth it is. Start counting from the tooth at the back. Once you know which one, it is, call our office and let us know. We will determine if you need to come in right away, or if it can wait until your next appointment.


Once your teeth begin to straighten out, poking wires may start. This is a good sign since it means that your teeth are moving in the right direction. However, the wire may start to poke out in the back of your mouth and can be quite bothersome.

What to do if you have a poking wire:
First, you should try to use your wax to prevent the wire from poking you. Just like with the broken brackets, you want to first break off a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball. Then, dry the tooth and the bracket with cotton so the wax will stick. Lastly, place the wax over the bracket and wire and roll it over into position. This should stop the poking.

If your poking wire is due to a broken bracket at the back – it will be a very long piece. It may be possible for you to snip the wire with a nail clipper. This should be attempted very carefully so not to break any remaining brackets. If the poking wire persists, call our office and we will make arrangements to see you as soon as we can.


With all the braces and wires in your mouth – it’s possible that they will irritate your lips and cheeks. Usually, this lasts for a couple of days or so until your mouth gets used to everything being in there.

If you notice that a bracket is irritating your lips or cheeks – you should use your wax to cover the part of the bracket that is bothering you. Again, break off a small piece of wax and roll it into a ball. Then, dry the tooth and the bracket with cotton so that the wax will stick. Lastly, place the wax over the bracket and wire and roll it over into position.

If the irritation persists, please call our office and we will arrange to see you as soon as we can.

We understand that having braces can at times cause a bit of discomfort and we hope this information was helpful. As always, we are here to assist patients. If you have additional questions or concerns, contact our office and we can help to answer them.

Join the discussion 41 Comments

  • Kalee says:

    Hi I just got braces 3 months ago and have a irritating wire that’s constantly poking me
    my mom put wax on it but it still hurt! It turns out I have three bumps and scratches in my mouth from the wire! My mother put peroxide on it to help! If I does not feel better she will take me to my dentist in the morning!!! 🙂

    • Kalee – the best remedy is to have the wire cut by your orthodontist. When using the wax – make sure to dry the area adequately so the wax can stick as best as possible. Good luck!

  • Name (Required) says:

    Will a broken bracket un-straighten your teeth if it goes on for a week?

    • This is possible. I always recommend my patients to call me if a bracket breaks – this way i can determine if it is important to see them right away or if it can wait until your next appointment. Good luck!

      • Georgia Lock says:

        hi, so I just got my braces fitted today, and I was sitting in college and heard a ping and one of the brackets have just fallen off
        my next appointment is in 4 weeks what do I do
        Thanks in adavance

  • brittany says:

    Ok so my bracket broke tonight. It is still behind the wire it is my front bottom tooth. I am going to my orthodontist Wednesday. Can I just wait till then? And idk how to tell my mom. It will cost a lot. I think. It broke off my tooth cuz I need nor build up. And when I bite down my top teeth touch the bottom brackets.

  • Jim says:


    My bracket has not broken, but the wire over one of the brackets has so on my bottom teeth I have the wire running along, then a snap, then the rest of the wire on the other side of the tooth running to the end, is this a huge problem?

  • Ariana says:

    I have had braces for 4 years. I havent been to my dentist in 4 months and I have 5 broken brackets. Do you think they’ll extend how long I’ll have my braces on?

  • Kristine says:

    Today my bracket came of and i think i swallowed it. Now, my wire is poking me like CRAZY! What should i do to prevent the long piece from poking it? Should i snip it off? but with what? Sorry that this is so many questions.

  • Tiffany says:

    Ah! My next appointment is Tuesday, with my orthodontist. I had poking wires & I thought I’ve might have messed it up, but I was careful of all the times when eating. Thank you so much! This helped me a lot.

  • acrida says:

    i want my braces out early

  • Isaac Kim says:

    I may have swallowed a part of my bracket wire.

    I was eating bread and when i swallowed, i felt a sharp pain in my throat as the bread went down. I assumed that it was the bread crust, but i felt for my wire and it was gone. should i be worried? please help!

  • Tanya says:

    I’ve had my braces for almost 2 years the first few months my brackets fell out constantly , i have taken care of them yet one in a while one comes off , since the first time it fell out my orthodentist has been annoyed& told me i have to pay for it to be glued back , is she allowed to make me pay , i also wanted to know if for that reason i can change my orthodontist?

    • Sorry to hear about your initial difficult experience with braces. While we can’t speak on behalf of all orthodontists, charging seems a bit out of the ordinary. There are many variables when deciding to switch orthodontists, such as how long you are in your treatment. Hope this helps to clarify.

  • Rella says:

    Hi. Any idea how much would it cost me to go to orthodentist to have my bracket stick back on my tooth? Thanks

  • brianna says:

    Hey, my bracket broke today while i was eating ice cream. But i dont know what to do. I told my parents and they dont know when they can take me in. But its the bracket that HOLDS the wire, and now the wire has nothing to hold it. Its the last bracket. What do i do? Wax isnt keeping it down.

    • Don’t stress. This happens. Find out when you can come into the office for a visit. Give the office a call and we can walk you through what you can do in the meantime.

  • Kulululu says:

    One of my elastic bands has broke so i phoned up and i have an appointment for tomorrow. Unfortuntly more brekages happened. What should I do?

  • Jolly Bee says:

    Hi. The back part of my brace wire is loose and it keeps poking the the back of my mouth. I am wondering how much it will cost to replace the wire. My dentist is in another country and now I am in the U.S., specifically NY. Help please. Thanks!

  • patte says:

    hi dr. i have swallowed my bracket of my braces with the small hook on it!i am so stress thinking of it what would i do huhuhuhu! thank u for reply anf godblesss!

  • Abby says:

    Hii Dr Vishal Sharma,

    The end-wires at my braces popped out of its bracket when i am brushing my teeth. Apparently I just had it tightened one day before. May i wait till my next appointment which is 3 weeks later to fix it back? What impact with it does to the movement of my teeth if i don’t fix it back faster?


    • Hi Abby. Hopefully it is not causing you any pain. It’s best to give the office a call and we can see if we can arrange an earlier time for you to come in. Thanks for the question

  • Emma says:

    I am leaving on a 1 and a half trip tommroow and my orthodontist is closed. My bracket just broke but it doesnt look like it or really bother me. My cousin is a dentist so should i ask her or what should i do. Its a foreign country

  • Jess says:

    Hi. I was eating something yesterday, and my bracket must’ve fallen off, and I swallowed it because it’s not there anymore. I didn’t get my back bracket get out on because there is a small cavity on that one, so this is the one up from it (middle molar-bottom) I know I should go in to get it put back on, but I am at my grandmas on vacation, a 8-9 hour drive away, for a couple weeks, when I get back, I have a appointment 2 weeks after that. Should I call the office when I get back, or is there something I could do about now….?

  • amanda says:

    I have had braces for three weeks just top and i tried to eat a cut up apple like last week but as i was chewing the apple both wires that hold the brackets popped off my mom tried to fix it no help it still comes out

  • khawla says:

    my problem is, that my upper canine teeth touching lower canine bracket, the dentist tried raising deep bite, but it last for a few days, and then again teeth touching bracket, and the bracket breaks while chewing something. if there is any other solution that you would suggest, because me and my dentist decided to stop the treatment here, because it is all in vain, no output

  • Yeri says:

    Today , my bracket fell loose, and I already visited the dentist yesterday to get a metal ring on the back of my two teeth because those brackets fell off last week. This time I didn’t eat any hard food at all. Can I wait two weeks to get this fixed or do I have to go there again.

  • Jocelyn Rochelle says:

    what is an oral pillow appliance that was placed on 2 teeth the back lower left and right tooth only? These 2 back teeth are touching but all the other teeth are not touching at all. With this situation you have a total of 4 teeth to chew and grind your food. With this situation you can only suck foods or drink. My speech has changed and these very hard appliances that were glued in was because the top and bottom bands were rubbing (why? maybe wrong size bands?)
    I cannot find this pillow oral appliance on the internet when I research it. I cannot be like this for 2 years. Can you tell me what is a pillow to keep the bands from rubbing? Can we take another route? Also my initial wire feel the strength/tension for a child. It doesn’t hurt or feel tension at all. What to do about that? The doctor doesn’t like to do the work but tells the worker in the office to do everything and this person is not an orthodontist. 🙁

  • Devon Stahler says:

    I broke a brace by eating something I wasn’t supposed to and it is the very last one on the bottom row and I got the bracket off. But now I can’t cut the wire with nail cutters and can’t get into the office for another week. Its hanging out like a inch! What do I do??

  • Jocelyn says:

    Hi. I went to the orthodontist yesterday afternoon and I took an Advil right before I went. They put in 6-8 brackets on teeth that are tiny, but started to grow in. They also changed my wires and (roughly) changed my colors. Now is the morning time and my mouth hurts like crazy!!! Any suggestions? My sister took the Advil back to college and I’m 12 so I can’t drive to the store to pick some up (both of my parents are at work). What do I do? Also, my appointments are sooo spaced apart. Yesterday was April 3rd, and my next appointment is June 24th?! I really want rubber bands to fix my over bite and I’m getting them next time but I don’t want to wait! Thanks in advance

  • Stephen Dyoco says:

    Hi I have an urgent emergency my bracket from the right side 3rd from the back (the very back one doesn’t have one. So basically I got my braces in the Philippines but we had to move to NZ and we were ok because my mum new how to adjust brackets ( But she’s not an ortho) the thing is I was brushing my teeth this morning when they came off, I was so scared because it was a massive emergency for me. What should? can the orthodontist around here fix it for me ( we didnt get them here because they cost way cheaper in the Philippines) should I just leave it my next ortho appointment is in like 1 year so can I leave it?

  • John says:

    I got my braces 3 days and and one ofy bracket just broke am I going to have to pay or is this normal or what?

  • Jiwon says:

    Is it fine leave the broken braces for 1weeks?

  • samantha says:

    Hi, so I’ve had braces for about 2-3 months and I have power chains and on my second to last tooth on the left(if YOU are looking in my mouth) looks like the bracket has moved a little towards my back tooth…. I’m not site maybe.my eyes are tricking me but it does feel a little different when I bite down…

  • Zoe says:

    Hi My bracket just fell off, it is the back molar on my left side, and I need suggestions! We are on a trip to France, and won’t be back until 2 1/2 weeks!! I don’t know if I should go to a French orthodontist and ask them to reapply glue to it ( I am an American and don’t know much French). Or should I just contact my US orthodontist and tell them, and see what they say? Also, should I just manually take the bracket off myself and bring it back when I go to my next appointment!! Or should I keep it in?? Would two and a half weeks without the bracket effect my treatment and/or cause damage? It is the weekend and I won’t be able to contact my orthodontist until 2 days from now, what should I do till then!! Please advise!!!

  • Roberta says:

    My daughter swallowed a piece of bracket can this harm her??

  • Sophia says:

    Ummmm I have A broken bracket in the back of my teeth and my appointment isn’t until 3 weeks is it something serious or no? Becuz this morning I ate a cereal bar and all of sudden I felt a pop usually it doesn’t happen
    So I just wanna know if I have to make a new schedule for it ..

  • candy says:

    Had my braces fixed just the top and my last brackect broke the same day. Called my orth but he just cut the poking wire and scheduled my next appointment for six weeks.will my teeth become more crooked

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