No one wants their orthodontic treatment to be interrupted, but accidents can happen. So, to help you be prepared, we’ve collected a few things to remember when things don’t go as they should during your treatment. Let’s begin and explore what to do if your braces break.
Understanding Braces and How They Can Break
Braces, whether traditional metal, clear ceramic, or removable aligners, are strong devices built to withstand the tests of everyday life. However, they’re not invincible. Specific actions like eating hard or sticky foods, physical trauma, or improper care can lead to broken brackets or bent wires.
Physical trauma, such as a sports injury or even a simple fall, can result in damaged braces. Improper care can also lead to breakage. Rough brushing or using non-recommended cleaning tools can harm your braces. Lastly, removable aligners can get damaged if not stored properly when not in use. They can be stepped on, chewed up by pets, or exposed to extreme temperatures, causing them to warp or break.
Understanding these potential issues can help you take preventive measures and ensure the durability of your braces. Remember, the team at Lively & Napoli Orthodontics is always here to guide you through your orthodontic journey.
Immediate Steps to Take When Braces Break
Experiencing a break in your braces can be alarming, but don’t panic. Here are some quick steps you can take to handle the situation well:
1. Assess the Situation
Start by examining your mouth carefully. Identify the broken part – is it a bracket, a wire, or a band? If a wire has come loose, is it poking into your gums, cheek, or tongue? This early exam will help you explain the situation when you contact your orthodontist.
2. Contact Lively & Napoli Orthodontics
Once you’ve assessed the situation, contact us at Lively & Napoli Orthodontics. We’re here to help you navigate these unexpected accidents. When you call, provide a detailed description of the problem. This information will help us prepare for your visit and provide the right solution.
Managing in the Meantime
There are some short-term fixes you can take while waiting for your appointment, including a few things you can do to ease discomfort and prevent further damage.
Managing Discomfort: If a broken wire is causing irritation, you can use a Q-tip to push it into a less bothersome position gently. Orthodontic wax can also be helpful. This soft, flexible material can be placed over the broken piece to create a smooth surface that won’t poke or scrape your mouth.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene is crucial to keep your mouth clean, even if your braces are broken. Continue to brush and floss regularly, but be extra gentle around the broken area to avoid causing more damage. If you find flossing around the broken part difficult, a water flosser can be a helpful tool.
Avoid DIY Repairs: It might be tempting to try and fix the break yourself, but it’s best to leave the repairs to the professionals. DIY fixes can often lead to more harm than good.
Sometimes, a break in your braces can be more than a minor inconvenience. It could become what we would call an orthodontic emergency, where you need to see Dr. Napoli or Dr. Lively before your next scheduled appointment.
Suppose it’s a major emergency, such as trauma to the face or teeth where a tooth becomes loose or fractured, oral infections, allergic reactions to appliances, or even swallowed appliance parts. In these cases, you’ll need to seek immediate attention.
First, stay calm and assess the level of care you need at that moment. If it’s life-threatening or you can’t reach our office, it’s best to visit the nearest urgent care or emergency room. If the issue is urgent, but you don’t think it needs immediate medical attention, you should call our office to set an appointment as soon as possible to make sure your teeth stay on track with your treatment.
Preventing Future Breaks
While it’s nice to know that broken braces can be fixed, prevention is always better. Here are some strategies to help prevent future breaks:
1. Mindful Eating: One of the most effective ways to prevent damage to your braces is by being mindful of what you eat. Hard, crunchy, or sticky foods can exert pressure on your braces, leading to breakages. Try to avoid foods like popcorn, nuts, hard candies, and chewy sweets. Opt instead for softer foods that require less chewing force.
2. Wear a Mouthguard: If you’re involved in sports or any physical activities that could result in a blow to the face, it’s essential to protect your braces with a mouthguard. This simple device can shield your braces from impact, preventing breakages and protecting your mouth from injury.
3. Proper Cleaning: Gentle yet thorough cleaning can help maintain the strength of your braces. Avoid using hard-bristled toothbrushes or aggressive brushing techniques that can damage your braces. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and take your time to clean around each bracket and wire.
4. Regular Check-ups: Regular visits to Lively & Napoli Orthodontics allow us to monitor the condition of your braces and make necessary adjustments. These check-ups can help identify potential issues before they lead to breakages.
5. Dietary Changes: Along with avoiding hard and sticky foods, some dietary adjustments can also help prevent breakages. Try more soft foods that are easier on your braces. Cut larger foods into smaller pieces to ease the strain on your braces when biting.
Making a Plan With Lively & Napoli Orthodontics
Helping you stay prepared for any situation is the name of the game for us. Our Lively & Napoli Orthodontics team is ready to set you up with a treatment plan made just for you. If you’re ready to begin your journey or have any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or schedule your free consultation!