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What to do if You Break a Bracket



Breaking a bracket is one of the more common risks of wearing braces. These instances don’t always happen during normal business hours, yet they don’t exactly qualify as an emergency. So what can you do if one breaks at home? First step is to not panic. Many times, you can take temporary measures for your own comfort until you can get to our office.

Call Your Orthodontist

After eating something particularly hard or chewy, you may notice one of your brackets has dislodged from the tooth it was attached to. This is a common problem that occurs when the adhesive that binds the bracket weakens, chips or breaks off, leading to a broken bracket. If this happens during regular business hours, call the offices of Drs. Savage, Sabol and Visser to explain the situation to one of our team members. If the problem is minor, we can tell you what to do on your own at home until you can make it in for your next appointment.

Other times, the damage is too much to leave untreated . After all, a loose or broken bracket won’t be particularly effective as part of your ongoing orthodontic treatment. We will get you in as soon as possible at our next opening to get the bracket repaired.

Home Treatment

Before you can get to our office, though, you may be experiencing some discomfort, especially if the bracket is poking into your cheek or tongue. If the bracket has broken off, retrieve the piece and put it in an envelope or baggie to take with you to your visit. If it is still mostly attached, don’t attempt to pull it off.  This could damage your teeth or soft tissues further.

Instead, use the wax given to you on previous visits to your orthodontist in order to keep the sharp edges from poking your mouth.

Preventing Breakage in the Future

The worst thing you can do when you have braces is to eat sticky, chewy foods. The worst culprits are fruit snacks, raisins and taffy because they can weaken the resin that binds the bracket to the tooth. Hard candies, apples, popcorn and other hard foods can also lead to breakage. Even ice, when chewed, can lead to a bracket popping off. Avoid the above foods to prevent broken brackets from happening in the first place.

If you have a loose or damaged bracket, call Drs. Savage, Sabol and Visser to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. We would be happy to instruct you on next steps.