As an experienced orthodontist, Dr. Moon has seen broken braces a time or two. Not because we don’t use top-of-the-line orthodontic appliances but because sometimes things happen. You might accidentally (or purposefully, no judgment!) eat too hard food, step on your clear aligners, or get hit at sports practice. Whatever happens, we’re here to help! Fortunately, most broken braces are not an emergency, and you can do a few things from home while you wait for your repair appointment. Let’s check it out!
One of the most annoying parts of broken braces is the poking and prodding of loose brackets and severed wires on your cheeks, lips, and gums that can cause open wounds and pinching. Luckily, you can reduce and relieve that.
Orthodontic wax is a removable substance that you apply as needed to the areas that are bothering you. The wax protects your skin, stops irritation, and prevents problems from developing. If you have clear braces or aligners, you won’t ever have to choose comfort over style because the wax is transparent! It blends with your low-profile aesthetic and saves you from pinching and rubbing.
If you don’t have any orthodontic wax handy, you can also try a numbing product, such as Orajel! Numbing effects relieve discomfort but don’t prevent the problem from progressing, so keep an eye on the area!
Icepacks And Over The Counter Pain Relief
Sometimes, more drastic measures than orthodontic wax are needed. In those cases, we recommend using ice to soothe and reduce swelling and over-the-counter pain medication to relieve stubborn pain. Follow the appropriate instructions for safe and effective results.
Eat Soft Food
Eating the wrong food is one way to break your fixed braces in the first place and is a great way to make the issue worse! Until we repair your appliance, eat soft foods that require little to no chewing, like smoothies, soups, and mashed potatoes, to avoid unnecessary pain and further harm to the devices. Even if your broken wires or brackets are not causing you discomfort, you should still eat soft food to keep their condition stable.
Gargle Salt Water
Rinsing the mouth with warm salt water to reduce the risk and appease symptoms of developing sores, swelling, and infected wounds is an excellent addition to your routine while your braces are broken. You can also try an antiseptic mouthwash to disinfect the mouth if you cannot gargle salt water.
Sometimes, your broken braces don’t hurt! They might not even cause a pinch or scratch. But you should still perform some maintenance to keep your braces in as good condition as possible until your appointment with Dr. Moon to get them fixed.
Cut Or Bend Broken Wires
You can cut wires that stick out with nail trimmers or small wire cutters. Trim as close to the teeth as possible. Be careful not to snip yourself and not to swallow any loose metal pieces. Once done, place orthodontic wax on the area to hold the wire and protect your skin.
If the wire is in a hard-to-reach spot, bend it until it no longer bothers you and then use orthodontic wax to hold it down.
Maintain Oral Hygiene
Depending on how bad your braces or mouth look, you might wonder if your oral hygiene routine could worsen the situation, but it won’t! Even if uncomfortable or challenging, you should perform your routine twice daily. Just be gentle with your broken braces or injured areas. Keeping the mouth free of bacteria, plaque, and germs is essential to minimizing the risk of infections, especially if you have developed an open cut.
Hold Your Bracket In Place
Use orthodontic wax to hold a loose bracket in place to prevent it from separating more and inhibit irritation from friction. If your bracket has come off, store it in a safe location until your appointment.
Note: DO NOT glue your bracket back on yourself, and DO NOT attempt to remove it if it is still attached to your braces or teeth. Doing either will only worsen the situation! Please let Dr. Moon perform all repairs.
Invisalign trays are thin and clear to be comfortable and discreet, but these characteristics can also make them easily damaged. If your aligners become disfigured, squashed, or otherwise damaged and unwearable, wear your previous aligners while you wait for replacements to prevent your teeth from shifting backward too much! Do not advance to the next tray early without approval from Moon Orthodontics!
Visit Moon Orthodontics For Repairs, Replacements, And More Information!
The number one thing to remember about broken braces is not to panic! Remember, unless you suffer a facial trauma, broken braces are usually not an emergency.
Even still, once you get the situation under control, contact Moon Orthodontics to set up an appointment for repairs. Our helpful team members can also give you more information about what to do if your braces break.
Don’t wait until your broken braces become an emergency; see us soon!