Broken Braces and Wires

When you have braces, typically broken braces, broken wires loose bands and braces, and wires sticking out tend to be the biggest issues you run into. If you run int that, you should call the orthodontist or the office staff to get the problem fixed. If there was an injury that caused it, you should see the dentist right away. Orthodontists will also tell you if you need immediate attention, or if it can wait.

Sometimes, braces, wires, and bands fall off, usually from chewing hard or sticky foods and some parts tend to come loose, causing discomfort. Som problems can be simple, others not so much.

Loose brackets, for example, are a big one.  Usually, they’re attached with a resin, similar to the material used for fillings. If you have something hard and sticky, these tend to weaken or break. When that happens, they can come loose, poking the gums, tongue, and cheek. When you first get your braces, you’ll be getting a special wax, and if that happens to your bracket, put some wax over it as a temporary measure.

Then there are loose bands, which are the metal rings that are cemented around the back and front teeth. If a band becomes loose, call to have it replaced or recemented, and if it comes off completely, don’t put it off till the next appointment.

Then there are broken and protruding wires.  If a wire breaks or sticks out, it can hurt the gum, tongue, or cheek, and you may have to push it into a better position with a pencil eraser. If that doesn’t work, put wax over the end.  don’t try to cut it, since the wire can be inhaled or swallowed. If the wire has caused a sore, use an antiseptic rinse, or some warm salt water in order to help reduce discomfort and clean it. Some pain relievers will numb it too, and if it seems to be getting worse, you should be advised that seeing your dentist is the best option at that point.

Then there are loose spacers, which are rubber rings that are between the teeth, left in place for a few days. They open up the space between the teeth so that the orthodontist can slip out of the teeth easily. Some brass wires and springs can be used too, but some spacers may slip out. When this happens, see your orthodontist, since you may have to have the band replaced.

Usually, your orthodontist will adjust, reposition, and reattach the existing brackets and wires, and sometimes, the orthodontist will fully replace it if it’s better off for the teeth to do that.

In essence, if you notice this, and if you do have any discomfort and the problem won’t interfere with the appointment, the orthodontist may wait on repairs, but then again, if it’s too much for you to handle, you should let the orthodontist know, and make sure that you get enough time.