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What to Do When a Braces Bracket is Loose

Welcome to Reese Orthodontics, your Charleston, SC premier Invisalign and Braces professional. We look forward to helping you obtain your best smile.

A loose braces bracket can be scary. If you understand how brackets can become loose, you can easily prevent it from happening or treat it when it does. Before you or your child have to schedule an emergency orthodontist visit to fix a loose bracket, here’s a quick guide on what do when a braces bracket is loose.

Want to find out if you or your child needs braces? Visit Reese Orthodontics in Charleston, SC for leading orthodontic care.

How Do Braces Brackets Become Loose?

Depending on the position of your teeth, your brackets could be in a vulnerable position. Their placement, combined with your eating habits, could cause one to become loose. This is normal and happens from time to time. Spacers and rubber bands can become loose as well, but this is not usually as significant an issue. Broken brackets, which often affect the wires as well, can cause pain and disrupt your treatment if left unattended.

Here are the main ways that a braces bracket can become loose:

  • Injuring your mouth
  • A weak attachment to the enamel
  • An accidental attachment to a silver filling
  • Nail-biting, pen chewing, or other similar habits
  • Using a toothbrush or toothpick too roughly
  • Improper diet, including foods that are too crunchy, sticky, chewy, hard, or fibrous

Some of these conditions are in your control and some are not. Either way, here are simple steps you should take to assess and treat the damage caused by a loose braces bracket.

How to Fix a Loose Braces Bracket

Whether you sustained a blow to the mouth or ate the wrong foods, your braces bracket has become loose. The first step is to assess the damage. Visually try to see how broken your braces are. Call your orthodontist and tell them what you see so you can schedule a visit to have it fixed.

What to Do Before Your Visit

If the bracket is loose and the wire is no longer attached, you can gently remove it and bring it with you to your appointment. If the wire is still in place, you can use the orthodontic wax you received at your last appointment to hold it in place until you can come into the office.

In the case of a broken wire, you could be in a lot of pain. If the wire is sticking out and poking your lips or gums, try to gently push it back into position using a pencil eraser or cotton swab. You can also use wax to prevent additional pain.

Most importantly, call your orthodontist after assessing the damage. They will decide whether you need to come in right away to fix the issue or if you can wait until your next scheduled adjustment. Even if you’re not in pain, the loose bracket could be affecting your treatment.

How to Relieve Pain

If you have a loose bracket or wire, you could be in pain. Even if you called your orthodontist and scheduled an appointment, you should be able to relieve your discomfort until you see them. Here are a few tips on how to prevent additional trauma and relieve discomfort in the meantime:

  • Change your diet. If a loose braces bracket or wire is causing you pain, stick to soft foods until you can see your orthodontist. These will have the least chance of causing additional discomfort. Good choices include soft bread, eggs, soup, and yogurt.
  • Saltwater rinse. If you have injured your mouth due to a broken wire, a saltwater rinse can help ease your discomfort until your orthodontic appointment. Use a teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces of water and gently swish it around. This will numb and alleviate pain for a while before you can get in for your appointment.
  • OTC pain relievers. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with significant discomfort. These pain relievers are not intended for long-term use, but they can be helpful in the days leading up to your appointment.

Choose Reese Orthodontics

For orthodontic treatments in Charleston, SC, Reese Orthodontics offers the latest technology and treatment plans. Our advanced and comfortable orthodontic treatments can be customized to suit your needs. A consultation with Reese Orthodontics includes scans, a comprehensive exam, and a conversation with the orthodontist to discover which treatment options are right for you. 

Schedule an appointment with us today to stay ahead of your oral health and receive the best possible treatment in your area.

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