What to do if your Brackets Break

Categories: Orthodontics


No matter where you are when your braces break, it can throw you for a loop and may create panic. Broken or loose brackets can loosen and reduce your orthodontic treatment effectiveness and can sometimes create oral injuries or pain. Our Santa Cruz family dentists expect the occasional broken wire or bracket while wearing braces and explain that there’s no need for alarm, but you should see the dentist immediately. But in the meantime, you may need to make a quick fix at home before making an appointment with our dentists. Therefore, our dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry share on the blog today what to do if your brackets break so that you can maintain your progress.

How can I protect my mouth when my braces break?

You may need to take precautions to protect your mouth from a sharp wire or moving bracket until you can visit our Scotts Valley dental office. Fixes like repositioning damaged brackets with tweezers or cutting an uncomfortable wire with nail cutters are common for traditional braces wearers. Below, we share helpful tips on how to protect your smile when something goes wrong with your braces.

Floating Bracket

Brackets connect to teeth using adhesive. If a bracket detaches from a tooth but remains attached to the wire, it may spin and slide along the wire. Broken brackets may be reattached by our dentists. Floating brackets may not be painful, although they might irritate the mouth. To apply the fix, disinfect a pair of tweezers and move the bracket down the wire, so it lies between two teeth or in the middle of the tooth.

Broken Wires

Your bleeding and infection risk increases if an archwire break occurs and the sharp end pokes into the cheek or gum. Our Los Gatos family dentists advise patients to use nail clippers or tiny pliers to neatly trim off the end of the wire to make it safe to wear until you can visit our office. To prevent accidentally ingesting the snipped wire end, place a tissue in your mouth before you begin.

Protruding Wire

Occasionally, the wire may get dislodged. Use nail clippers or tiny pliers to trim the protruding end of the wire if it’s irritating the gum or cheek. Sharp corners may also be protected with orthodontic wax. If you need to have a wire changed, make an appointment with our office.

Bent Wire

Eating items that are too tough for your braces may bend the wires, which could cause the elastic bands to cease moving your teeth. Schedule an emergency visit with our Santa Cruz dentists if you discover that a wire is loose, crooked, or damaged. Instead of waiting weeks and then discovering the wire is interfering with your therapy, it’s best to have it examined as soon as possible.

What’s the best way to heal cuts and sores inside the mouth when wearing braces?

Undoubtedly, patients who wear traditional braces will suffer small cuts and sores that develop in their mouths. Fortunately, these irritations usually heal quickly, but areas, where the spot is consistently rubbed, can make it challenging to heal. In most cases, patients who suffer the most irritation inside their mouths are either new to the treatment or have broken wires or brackets. However, patients can use dental wax to cover brackets or wires that irritate their cheeks, lips, or tongue. Additionally, saltwater rinses are a fantastic way to soothe and heal sores. Some patients may use an antiseptic rinse or a numbing cream to ease the painful sensations.

Dentists who Offer Orthodontic Treatments in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California

Most damages can be fixed with little effort. If your braces get loose or fall off, or a bracket becomes dislodged, your teeth may shift back to their original position more quickly than you expect. Don’t freak out if a bracket or wire breaks off your braces; do keep in mind, however, that putting it off until your next visit might potentially cause more damage and lengthen your treatment duration. So, when you have a bent wire or a broken bracket, it’s crucial to contact our Scotts Valley dental office for an appointment. Please call Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry at (831) 438-4411 or contact us online today.