Your braces are hard at work straightening your teeth and you barely notice you have them anymore. Then, suddenly, a braces bracket is loose. Will this interfere with your treatment? Do you need to call an emergency orthodontist?
First, don’t panic. A loose or broken bracket on your braces is fairly common. While you will want to call our office and let us know the situation, you can usually fix a broken braces bracket at home, at least temporarily.
In this post, the team at Aura Orthodontics in Surrey and Langley will be covering what can cause a loose bracket on your braces and sharing tips for how to handle the situation.
What Causes a Broken or Loose Bracket On Your Braces?
- Eating really hard, chewy or sticky foods – The most common culprit behind a broken braces bracket is eating one of those foods on your “foods to avoid with braces” list or biting directly into something like a raw apple or chewy bagel with your front teeth. Steer clear of food that can cause breakage and make everything as easy to eat as possible, by cutting it into bite size pieces and chewing with your back teeth.
- A blow to the mouth – Sustaining a mouth injury, which happens most commonly when you play sports without wearing a mouthguard, can damage your appliance. Beyond a loose braces bracket, your braces can also cut the soft tissues of your mouth or injure an opponent during a collision. Be sure to wear a mouthguard when playing sports or doing any physical activity where a blow to the face is a possibility.
- Chewing on hard items – Chewing on ice, your fingernails, pens and pencils or any hard object is another cause of a broken bracket on braces. These habits are also big offenders when it comes to chipped teeth and worn enamel, so breaking them will be a boon for your braces and your oral health.
- Aggressively brushing and flossing your teeth – Though it’s not super common, aggressive brushing and flossing can damage your appliance and lead to issues like a broken bracket.
- Low bond strength – Rarely, low bond strength between your bracket and the tooth causes a braces bracket to loosen. Bond failure is generally because of saliva contamination during the bonding process.
- Biting down on a bracket – As your braces move your teeth, your bite will change. As this happens, be mindful about not biting down really hard on a lower bracket, because the force can loosen it.
Will I Have to Schedule an Emergency Orthodontist Visit?
We always tell our Langley and Surrey, BC braces patients to inform us of any problems, including loose brackets. Usually, you can wait until your regularly scheduled appointment to have it fixed, but it will depend on the situation.
For any type of braces emergency, you can call Aura Orthodontics at 604-585-1304 (Guildford office), 604-593-5225 (Scottsdale office) or 604-427-3001 (Langley office). For your convenience, you can also do an online check-in. Fill out the form, let us know what’s going on and upload a few pics. A certified specialist in orthodontics will take a look and let you know how to proceed.
How to Fix a Loose Bracket on Your Braces at Home
Here’s how to fix a broken bracket on your braces:
- If your braces bracket breaks but is still attached to the wire, you might find that it spins or moves on the wire, which can be kind of annoying. Slide the broken bracket back to its normal position. Then, gently dry it off with a clean tissue, cotton roll or piece of gauze. Break off a piece of orthodontic relief wax, roll it in between your fingers to warm it up and press the wax on the loose bracket. This will hold it in place and prevent it from sliding around.
- If a bracket comes off your braces entirely, remove the bracket from your mouth, being careful not to swallow it. Bring it with you to your appointment.
- Sometimes, a broken braces bracket will leave you with a long piece of poking wire. First, dry off the wire with a clean tissue or sterile gauze. Again, roll a piece of braces wax between your fingers to warm it up and then press it on the wire to stop it from causing irritation. Still poking? You can also try to very carefully use a clean cotton swab or the eraser of a new pencil to push the wire out of the way and against the nearest tooth before sticking wax on it.
If these steps don’t work or you’re unclear on anything, contact us and a team member will walk you through how to fix a loose bracket on your braces at home. They’ll also let you know if you need to come in for a repair appointment.
Connect With a Surrey or Langley, BC Orthodontist for Your Braces Needs!
We hope our tips filled you in on what to do for a loose bracket on your braces. If you have any braces concerns, you’re looking for an emergency orthodontist in Langley or Surrey, BC, or you’re just interested in learning more about braces treatment, our certified specialists in orthodontics, Dr. Sharma, Dr. Lin and Dr. Koo, can help! Give us a call or schedule a consultation at Aura Orthodontics today.