25% of people don’t smile because they don’t like their teeth. Braces work to correct misaligned teeth and give you a straighter smile. Metal braces use brackets and wires to shift teeth and sometimes the brackets break.

But a broken braces bracket is nothing to fear when you take the steps to fix it. Broken brackets are a very common braces problem.

If you have braces, or you’re thinking about getting braces, you should prepare for a broken bracket at some point. Here are some tips you need to know and how a Round Rock orthodontist can help.

Stay Calm

Broken brackets may seem to cause you alarm but the more you stay calm, the better you’ll be. Staying calm includes not panicking or worrying about the state of your braces. Many people break brackets and they’re typically easily fixable and not considered a dental emergency.

If the bracket is in your mouth, be sure not to swallow it, or place some wax over it if it’s slightly hanging on. Bring the bracket with you when you see your orthodontist.

Look at Your Remaining Braces

Once you’ve realized you have a broken bracket, you’ll need to inspect your teeth and other parts of your braces. Is the bracket still attached to the wire or is the bracket itself completely broken? Are there other brackets that look damaged?

If other brackets look loose or look like they may fall off, it’s ok to pop them off and keep them contained until you can get to an orthodontist. Check out your teeth and make sure there’s no additional damage.

Check the Wiring

Brackets and wires are connected, so when a bracket pops off or is damaged, it may impact the wiring as well. The wiring may stick out and cause gum or cheek irritation, or even cuts. This can lead to swelling and pain and you want to avoid it.

If this is the case, you may use wire cutters to bend the wire back to prevent injury from the protruding wire. Nail clippers are also an option to cut off the wire. Remember, it can always be fixed, and your comfort and protection from injury are most important.

Control the Pain

Broken brackets and wiring may cause some pain at the site. Broken brackets that are still attached to your teeth might rub up against your cheek and gums.

You can use over-the-counter pain medication to help control the pain until you see your orthodontist.

Schedule an Orthodontist Appointment

Visiting the orthodontist is the only way to fix your broken bracket. Even though broken brackets are not an emergency, your orthodontist will likely want to see you soon rather than later. When you schedule your appointment, tell them you have a broken bracket and they will fit you in as soon as possible.

Delaying going to the orthodontist will prolong your treatment, so call the same day your bracket breaks. When you go in for your appointment, your orthodontist will assess the damage and make the proper repairs. You should be as good as new once the new brackets are on, and your treatment is back on track.

Care for Your Teeth

While maintaining good oral hygiene is important when you have braces, it’s even more essential when you have a broken bracket. Foods that you eat contribute more damage, so you want to avoid certain foods like sticky or hard candies or popcorn.

Stick to softer foods like bread, hard-boiled eggs, or soups. If you find it challenging to eat at all, that’s ok, just stick to anything soft when you get hungry.

You’ll also want to continue to keep up a healthy oral hygiene routine.  Keeping your teeth clean and free from debris is the best thing you can do while you have braces, especially with a broken bracket. Use a saltwater rinse to clean out any injuries from brackets or wires.

Caring for Your Braces

Broken brackets do happen for several reasons, but you can try to avoid breakage by practicing several things.

Avoid eating hard candies or sticky foods. These types of foods have the potential to easily break brackets. Even some crunchy foods may break a bracket, so if you’re unsure, just select a different food or snack.

Brushing your teeth is essential when having braces because trapped food can lead to decay and other tooth-related problems. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles because they’re more flexible around your brackets. Hard-bristled brushes may not reach every crevice.

Some people feel the need to chew on pen tops or other items due to sensory issues, but this is not advisable with braces. Any foreign object could break a bracket, including biting your fingernails, so unless it’s food or water, avoid it.

If you play sports or other activities, accidents do happen and include brackets breaking. To lessen the chances of any injuries, try wearing a mouth guard to protect your braces. This could be a general mouth guard, or you could ask your dentist for recommendations.

See a Round Rock Orthodontist Today

A broken braces bracket isn’t a cause for alarm, but you want to see a Round Rock orthodontist as soon as possible. With the care and dedication you receive, you’ll be able to get back on track with your treatment as soon as possible.

Do you need to make an orthodontist appointment today? We love our patients and give them amazing orthodontic care. Schedule your appointment today or sign up for a virtual consultation to get your treatment started!