“Braces” is plural for bracket. So for traditional braces, a bracket is a little metal square which we glue onto the tooth with an adhesive. A broken bracket is the most common inconvenience for braces wearers, but we’ll advise you on how to handle the situation in this blog.
At Blue Wave Orthodontics, our brackets are single-wing brackets. We use the smallest single-wing brackets made anywhere in the world; because, there’s a greater distance between the brackets on the teeth.
Dr. Randy Fedman adds, “The reasons brackets break off are usually due to something you’re doing mechanically to break the bracket away from the tooth. The adhesive that holds the bracket onto the tooth is strong but there are certain forces, especially shear forces that can break the bracket off.”
Dr. Ernest McDowell lists some of the reasons why a bracket may break.
- Eating the wrong food
- Sports-injury or other trauma to the mouth
- Brushing or flossing too vigorously
- Using a toothpick or chewing on a pencil
- Biting your nails
So you have a broken bracket.
If the wire is still attached to the bracket, leave it in place. If it’s attached but sticking out, press it gently back into position. Use orthodontic wax to hold the broken bracket in place in your mouth until you can arrange to see us at Blue Wave.
If the bracket has come loose, remove it if possible. Dr. Chelsea Brockway guides, “Use a mirror to guide your hands in the project, unless you want to have someone else do it. Open a safety pin, but remember it’s very sharp. You don’t want to poke yourself or poke your gum tissue. But you go ahead and identify the bracket. The bracket will have a little rubber donut on it. You take the sharp end of the safety pin and you very carefully use that to pry away the donut away from the bracket. Then the bracket will fall away from the arch wire, you go ahead and throw the bracket away.” Call the office after that to schedule a repair appointment.