At Foley Orthodontics, we only use the most durable clear and metal braces so that you can have a pleasant, stress-free experience. Even still, your braces rely on you to keep them in tip-top shape. Sometimes no matter how well you take care of your braces, life has other plans, and they get broken anyway! They can become damaged by eating the wrong food, the adhesive not sticking to the teeth, facial injury, and performing oral hygiene incorrectly, among other things.
Our very own Dr. Foley has seen broken braces a time or two and, as an experienced board-certified orthodontist, knows exactly how to help. He gave us some of his tips and tricks that you can use to minimize the disruption broken braces cause you until you can get them fixed.
Cut Or Bend Broken Wires.
Trim down broken wires with small wire cutters or nail clippers. The poking of the metal isn’t just annoying and uncomfortable; it also has the potential to create open wounds in the mouth. Cut as close to the teeth as possible for maximum comfort, and be careful not to swallow bits of wire. Once done, cover it with orthodontic wax to protect your cheek.
If you are uncomfortable with cutting protruding wire, it’s okay! Bend the wire until it is bugging you as little as possible, then cover it with orthodontic wax to hold it in place and keep it from rubbing against your cheek.
Try To Put The Bracket Back In Place.
Depending on the severity of the damage, you might be able to push your bracket gently back into place and use orthodontic wax to hold it and inhibit friction irritation. If your bracket has come all the way off, put it in a safe location until your appointment.
DO NOT try to glue your bracket back on yourself, and DO NOT attempt to remove it if it is still attached to your braces or teeth. For your safety, let Dr. Foley perform all repairs and extractions!
Try Orthodontic Wax.
What exactly is orthodontic wax that we keep mentioning? It is a removable, waxy product you can put on your braces in the spots troubling you. Once in place, the wax becomes a barrier between the metal and your skin, reducing the risk of open wounds by preventing uncomfortable poking and rubbing. Orthodontic wax is transparent and made to blend in as much as possible, so you never have to choose comfort over style—even if you have clear braces!
If you don’t have any orthodontic wax handy, you can also try an oral numbing product like Orajel.
Maintain Oral Hygiene.
Depending on how bad your broken braces look, you might think to skip or be less thorough with your brushing and flossing to keep from worsening the problem. However, you should still perform your oral hygiene routine twice daily! Keeping the mouth free of bacteria, plaque, and germs is essential to minimizing the risk of infections until your braces are repaired, especially if you have a cut. Just be gentle!
Eat Soft Foods.
Eating the wrong food is one way to break your braces in the first place and is a great way to make the issue worse! Until your braces are fixed, eat soft foods like smoothies and soups. Eating too hard food can produce unnecessary pain and further harm the appliances.
Even if your severed wires or dislocated brackets are not causing discomfort, you should still eat soft food to prevent their condition from declining.
Rinse With Salt Water.
Rinse the mouth with warm salt water to reduce the risk and appease symptoms of developing sores, swelling, and infected wounds.
You can also try an antiseptic mouthwash if you cannot gargle salt water, but you should know that it is unlikely to appease soreness.
And Lastly, If None Of Those Work, Call An Ambulance.
We’re just kidding! Dr. Foley didn’t say that, but he did say broken braces are usually not an emergency as long as you are not in severe pain or suffering from any other related injury.
The Real Last Step: Visit Foley Orthodontics.
Always call Foley Orthodontics to schedule an appointment to get your braces repaired. Be honest about what happened and your braces’ condition so that we know the seriousness of the situation! Don’t be embarrassed to say you were eating something you shouldn’t have or forgot to wear your mouthguard to practice—we won’t judge you! We just want to help you get your treatment back on track.
We’ll take great care of you! See you soon!