It’s a typical morning: you wake up, brush your teeth, and after you finish, you notice a piece of wire sticking out from your braces. You broke a bracket.
Here at Stanley Dentistry, we get a lot of orthodontic patients who panic at the sight of loose or broken brackets. While a loose bracket can be a little scary, you shouldn’t be alarmed if it happens to you. Dr. Bobbi Stanley can easily fix it during your next appointment.
Still, loose or broken brackets rarely happen without a cause. There are a few preventative measures you can take to keep your brackets (and your teeth) looking good.
Orthodontic glue is what holds your brackets to your teeth so it has to be both strong and weak. It needs a strong bond to keep your brackets on your teeth. However, it can’t be too strong or else you risk breaking your bracket and your tooth during a traumatic injury. Just in case something happens, the glue has to be able to give a little.
Unfortunately, that means that brackets can sometimes become loose or break during normal, day-to-day activities. Playing contact sports, eating chewy, hard, or sticky foods, and placing foreign items in your mouth (pencils, fingernails, etc.) can oftentimes lead to braces-related problems.
If you’re playing football and you tackle someone, the glue on your braces might let go in order to protect your tooth from harm. Obviously, you want your brackets to give in that case. Still, the better situation is to keep yourself out of harm’s way or to wear a special mouthguard meant to protect your braces.
You can’t always avoid sports injuries but you can always stay clear of certain foods. Avoid sticky candy, hard foods (like nuts and carrots), or anything especially chewy. Although you may eat them once without incident, these foods have the potential to break your brackets and send you straight back to our office. Although we always love seeing our patients, we want to keep your braces in perfect condition so you don’t have to stay in them longer than necessary.
Some patients ask if there’s a way to fix their broken or loose brackets at home. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do aside from using wax to keep the broken bracket from hurting your mouth. If it’s really bothering you, make an immediate dental appointment. If a bracket is a little loose, you can wait until your next scheduled appointment.
If you still have questions about brackets and how to take care of them, try visiting these sites:
On average, every broken bracket adds an extra month to your time in braces. Breaking one or two brackets isn’t a big deal but breaking six or seven is. It’s a simple equation: take care of your braces and you won’t have to wear them for as long.
If you’re considering getting braces, make an appointment at the Stanley Dentistry office in Cary, NC to discuss your options.