If you have a child that wears braces, there is a chance that they will have loose or damaged brackets at some point- but, are broken braces an orthodontic emergency? Loose brackets are common, especially in those that have been wearing their braces for a while. The resin securing the bracket to the teeth can become weak- causing it to become loose. While loose or damaged brackets is not a dental emergency, it does warrant a call to your orthodontist during business hours to schedule a regular appointment to have the brackets tightened and fixed.
Braces broken? Here is what you should do after notifying the orthodontist:
Assess the Situation
Take a good look at the braces to assess the damage and determine what is loose or broken. If the wire is simply bent or out of place, give it a gentle nudge with a clean cotton swab; if a wire is protruding or sharp, trim it with nail clippers as close to the tooth as possible.
Use your Wax
Apply orthodontic wax over any edges or wires that could cause soreness or discomfort in the mouth. This helps prevent irritation inside the mouth, creating a waxy buffer that will protect the gums, tongue, and cheek.
Rinse with Salt Water
Loose or damaged braces can cause irritation in the mouth. Relieve this by rinsing the mouth with salted water frequently. This will also help speed-up healing if the broken brace did cause sores or cuts to the mouth.
Watch What They Eat
Until you see the orthodontist, skip those foods that can make the situation worse. Hard, sticky, or gummy foods can wreak havoc with braces- and could further complicate brackets and braces that are already loose or damaged.
Brush as Usual
Loose or broken wires is not a reason to skip routine dental hygiene. Brush and floss normally but be careful and brush gingerly around the loose brackets to prevent further problems.
Manage Discomfort, as Needed
Braces can cause sores and irritations to the inside of the cheek and mouth. Use over-the-counter pain reliever, like baby aspirin, to soothe this discomfort until you are seen by the orthodontist.
Figure Out How It Happened
Figure out what caused the bracket to break or become loose and let your orthodontist know. This can help prevent future problems and similar incidents later.
Surprisingly, a loose bracket is not an emergency, but you should contact your- or your child’s- orthodontist to schedule a routine appointment. At Reese Orthodontics we want you to call and let us know what you are experiencing with your braces; if it is after hours, we will call you back as soon as we are in the office. Use these tips to deal with broken braces- your child’s, your own, or someone else’s!