Broken Braces? What to do if a Bracket or Wire Breaks

If you have broken braces, it’s essential to address the issue promptly to prevent discomfort and ensure your treatment progresses smoothly.

It isn’t unusual to sometimes break a wire or bracket when you have braces. There’s nothing to panic about, but you should take action to get your broken braces fixed.

Damaged braces can cause discomfort, cuts and abrasions inside the mouth and, if left unfixed, make your treatment less effective. You may need to do a minor fix yourself before you can can get to the Orthodontist for a proper repair.

How to Protect Your Mouth if Your Braces Broke

A broken wire or moving bracket can be sharp so you may need to take action to protect your mouth before your Orthodontist can see you. Common fixes need tweezers to move the broken brackets to a more comfortable position or nail clippers to trim a sharp wire. Handle Discomfort: If any part of the broken braces is causing discomfort, you can use orthodontic wax to cover the sharp edges temporarily. This will help prevent irritation to your cheeks, lips, or gums.

Floating Bracket (A Braces Bracket Came Off)

Brackets are the part of the braces that attach to each tooth with special adhesive. If a bracket dislodges from the tooth but is still on the wire, it can rotate and move along the wire. Contact your Orthodontist to organize a time to have broken brackets reattached to your teeth.

A floating bracket rarely causes as much pain or damage as other breakages, but it can rub on the inside of your mouth. Before visiting your Orthodontist for the repair, you can sterilize a pair of tweezers and use them to slide the bracket along the wire so it sits between two teeth or into the center of the tooth. Use the tweezers to rotate the bracket so it’s facing the right direction. If the bracket is uncomfortable, cover the surface with some dental wax.

Broken Wire

If your arch wire breaks, the sharp end can poke into your cheek or gum, causing it to bleed and increases the chance of infection. To make the wire safe until you can see your Orthodontist, use a pair of nail clippers or small pliers to cut off the end so it’s a neat finish. If there is any risk that the patient may swallow the small piece of clipped wire, try using a tissue inside the mouth while clipping the end.

The treatment can depend on the specific situation, but may include:

  • completely replacing a broken wire
  • readjusting an archwire that’s popped out of place
  • prescribing antibiotics if there is a bacterial infection

According to the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), clipping a protruding archwire is only recommended as a last resort. This is because you could potentially swallow part of the wire.

To do it safely:

  1. Place a piece of folded tissue or gauze around the area. This can help to trap the clipped portion of the wire.
  2. Use a pair of sharp nail clippers to clip away the protruding part of the wire.
  3. Apply dental wax to any areas that still cause irritation.

Invisalign, Brookfield, Oak Creek, Milwaukee, Dental Braces, BracesProtruding Wire

As teeth move, there is a slight chance that the wire will come out of the last bracket. If the wire is poking into the check or gum, cut the end with nail clippers or small pliers. You can also use Orthodontic wax to cover up sharp ends. Contact your Orthodontist to have the wire replaced.

Bent Wire

Eating foods that are too hard for braces can cause the wire to bend. When your braces wire bends, the loose bands can’t pull teeth into position. If you notice any changes with the wire being loose, bent or broken,make an appointment with your Orthodontist straight away. It’s better to have it checked out than do nothing for weeks and find out the wire has compromised your treatment.

Avoid DIY Fixes:

While it might be tempting to try fixing the braces yourself, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. Attempting to repair the braces on your own could lead to further damage or delays in your treatment.

Remember, timely communication with your orthodontist is crucial when dealing with broken braces. They have the expertise to address the issue effectively and ensure your treatment remains on track.

Dr. Todd Connell Orthodontics

Oak Creek – (414) 764-5000

Brookfield – (262) 786-7886