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  • Writer's pictureBrunswick Valley Orthodontics

Handling Orthodontic Emergencies: What to Do if a Bracket Breaks or Wire Pokes

Orthodontic emergencies cannot be ruled out while you’re undergoing treatment, especially if you engage in high-impact activities like sports.

An emergency could include a broken wire or loose bracket. In such cases, it’s ideal to seek the help of an orthodontist, especially if the damage is severe. Nevertheless, there are a few things to be aware of if you ever suffer damage to your braces.

Dealing with loose or broken brackets

Brackets are small pieces of metal attached to the front of each tooth and aid in holding down the metal archwires. Accidents involving brackets could involve the latter loosening and running along the archway to detach and fall off eventually.

If your brackets aren’t attached to the tooth but haven’t yet fallen off the metal wire, you can try to reattach them with a pair of sterile tweezers. Another option is to use dental wax as an adhesive to hold it into place. You will need to reach out to your orthodontist if the brackets have come off completely.

Dealing with broken ligatures

Ligatures are the component of braces that link the brackets and archwires together. If you use a metal bracket brace with elastic ligatures, an accident may result in them breaking. In such cases, seeking orthodontic help is your best bet. This is because if a ligature is broken, more breaks will subsequently follow. However, if the elastic is intact, you can try to reattach it with a pair of sterile tweezers.

On the other hand, if your braces have metal wire ligatures, attempting to bend it back into place can work. If not, you can simply settle for moving it out of the way to avoid discomfort and gum irritation.

Dealing with wires that stick out

You should note that archwires are apt to slide out of place after wearing braces for a while. So, when they eventually begin to stick out and poke your gums and inner cheeks, you must be ready to apply the appropriate fixes.

You can try to push the wire back into position or make a small ball of dental wax and stick it to the wire’s poking end. Alternatively, you can attempt to bend the wire inward, having the pointy end facing your bracket. If none of these steps work, visiting your orthodontist is your next option.

Dealing with broken retainers

Retainers are another crucial element of your braces. If you have an orthodontic emergency resulting in them breaking, you should seek help immediately. Retainers help to keep your smile healthy and straight throughout the treatment duration. Without them, your teeth will relapse into an unhealthy alignment.

When retainers break, wearing them afterward forces your teeth into improper alignment, which is counterproductive. If such happens, seek orthodontic help immediately.

Enjoy the highest orthodontic treatment standards

At Brunswick Valley Orthodontics, we not only help you correctly install your braces, but also advise you on the best ways to keep your braces clean and avoid accidents that can damage your braces and stagnate orthodontic treatment. If you find yourself in an orthodontic emergency and need professional help, do not hesitate to book an appointment.


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