What To Do If Your Braces Wire Or Bracket Breaks

This is a common concern for many braces-wearers, and a common question: what should you do if a wire or bracket breaks?

Between orthodontic visits there will sometimes be situations that arise with your braces. While most are minor, don’t hesitate to call our office 24-hours a day if you have questions or concerns. If our office is closed, we will be happy to return your call to provide you additional information on what you can do until you can be seen by our talented team.

What should I do if a bracket is loose or breaks?

First, please call our office so that we can schedule an appointment for you. There are several things that generally will keep a loose bracket connected until you can be seen by our staff. Either the small rubber rings or steel ligature ties around each bracket will generally keep the bracket connected until it can be re-cemented to your tooth. If a loose or broken bracket is causing you discomfort, you may also be able to use a pair of tweezers to move the bracket around, or to remove a broken piece of the bracket.

What should I do if a wire breaks?

If the main archwire has come out of the tube on your back teeth, you can try to see if you can reinsert the wire. If you are uncomfortable doing that, placing a soft piece of wax over the end of the wire can help to keep it from poking the inside of your cheeks or gums and causing you pain or discomfort. Only in emergencies should you cut a loose wire – if at all possible, do not trim or cut wires, just cover the ends in wax so they can’t poke or cause you any pain, and then come into our office so we can put any dislodged into back into place.

If you cannot be immediately seen by our team and are experiencing discomfort, we recommend either rinsing your mouth with a glass of warm water with a pinch of salt in it. Over-the-counter pain remedies such as Motrin, Advil or Tylenol can also help ease any aching pain resulting from the difference in tension caused by a broken wire or bracket.