What To Do About Loose or Broken Braces

Loose braces, or a broken bracket, can throw a wrench in your day – not only can it be a little annoying for you, but it can also impede your treatment. But don’t worry, loose braces and brackets are a common issue and there’s no need to stress or panic, we’ll be answering some of the common questions you might be running into.

In today’s blog, we’re here to help guide you through how braces become loose in the first place, how long you can go with them being loose, what to do when this happens and how to prevent it in the future. 

Let’s dive in!

How Do Braces Become Loose?

A loose brace can strike at any time – and that’s because there are a range of ways that they can become loosened. Some of the more common ways include aggressive teeth brushing, chewing ice, biting your fingernails, or chewing the end of a pen or pencil. Not only that, but being hit in the mouth during sports, or similar, can also cause your braces to loosen.

The number one most common cause for broken or loose braces, though, is eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods. Think: popcorn, corn on the cob, beef jerky, hard candies, caramel, and so on – all very tasty, but they can cause your braces to become loose quite easily. That is why it is highly recommended to follow your orthodontist’s food recommendations in order to prevent a loose brace from occurring. 

How Long Can You Go With Loose Braces?

The good news is that loose braces typically aren’t an emergency. If you’re not in pain or discomfort, there’s no need to drop everything and visit us that day. You can wait several days to have your braces repaired on your schedule. We just don’t recommend waiting more than a week because a loose bracket can affect your teeth’s alignment over time and cause your treatment schedule to be pushed back. 

If, however, you have wire poking or rubbing the inside of your mouth, causing pain, discomfort, or irritation, then it’s recommended to call us immediately to get the braces fixed. To help relieve discomfort until your appointment, visit your local pharmacy and pick up some orthodontic wax. Simply apply a small piece of the wax to the loose bracket. If you get a sore on your cheek or gum, use warm salt water or mouthwash to rinse the affected area to help relieve pain and promote healing.

What To Do About Loose Braces?

Once you schedule your appointment to fix the loose bracket, we recommend you avoid connecting your rubber bands and leaving the bracket alone until you can see us. This will help to prevent additional damage and keep your treatment as on track as possible. If you have bands or brackets that are not loose or affected by the issue then you can continue to wear the rubber bands on them.

How To Prevent Loose Braces In The Future

There are a few ways to help prevent braces and brackets from becoming loose. As stated earlier, hard, sticky, or tough to chew foods should be avoided as much as possible.  When something does  get stuck in your teeth, use a waterpik, floss, or interdental brush to help remove the item. Avoid using a toothpick which can sometimes damage the brackets. Brush and floss gently and regularly to keep good teeth hygiene. Try not to mess with or continuously touch the bracket or wires of your braces; this can cause them to become loose. Lastly, wear a mouthguard when playing sports, especially contact sports like hockey or football. 

In short – if your brackets break, don’t worry. Loose or broken braces are a common problem that can be fixed quickly and easily. It is best to do what you can to try and prevent your braces from getting loose to keep your treatment on the fast track, but our team is here to help you when it does happen.

Design, video, photo, and branding by Clear Partnering Group.