Dr. Lili & Associates enjoys the privilege of getting to go on the braces journey with patients and know how exciting getting a new smile can be! Braces are a big responsibility and can take some getting used to in everyday life. Our team is here to share with you what to do if your braces break and how to keep them safe.
The Anatomy of Braces
Braces are an intricate orthodontic device used during treatment to straighten teeth and counter misalignment or jaw issues. Each part plays a special role in ensuring your teeth move in the right direction. They are quite durable, but must be properly taken care to last the duration of treatment and remain effective throughout your smile journey.
- Brackets: a small square component attached to the front surface of your tooth with glue
- Archwires: a thin piece of metal threaded through the brackets to shift your teeth in the correct direction
- Ligatures: small rubber bands placed on each bracket to ensure the archwire stays in its place
- Bands: what anchors the wires by wrapping around the back molars
Common Breaks That Can Happen During Treatment
If something does break, snap, loosen, or otherwise, the first thing you want to remember is to stay calm. Accidents happen, and our team at Dr. Lili & Associates will be able to help figure out the issue and so you can be well on your way to continuing treatment as normal. Some issues braces wearers encounter include the following.
If adhesive is worn down, a bracket on the front of your tooth may loosen itself. This can be due to eating foods too rigorous for your braces material or just normal wear and tear. By leaving it be, you may accidentally cut your gums or tongue, potentially disrupting the teeth alignment process.
Loose or Protruding Wire
Often caused by eating something sticky or hard, loose wires can occur. As your teeth begin shifting, you may get a wire that slides its way loose or out of place completely. This may irritate or cut the inside of your mouth. Once undone, the tip of the wire may be sharp so be careful not to play with it.
When a band becomes loose, you probably will be able to feel something is out of place. This can start to cause discomfort and irritation around your gums and cheek. If left alone, you may get food stuck under it in an impossible-to-clean spot and negatively impact the alignment of your teeth.
How You Can Deal With Breakages At Home
To temporarily fix a loose bracket, you can carefully use sterile tweezers to slide the bracket back between two teeth, rotate it to the correct position, then place it back in the center of the tooth. Be sure to let our team know as soon as possible so Dr. Lili and Dr. Wu can determine whether or not an emergency visit is necessary.
Loose or protruding wires are bothersome, but can easily be fixed at home with a temporary solution till your next appointment. Use sterile tweezers to prop it back in place and cover the affected area with orthodontic wax to avoid cuts or irritation. If it continues to pop out, you may cut it at the base with nail clippers. Let our team know of the issue and we will make a note of it to be addressed!
Because loose bands can quickly affect the progress of your alignment, please give our team a call as soon as you realize the band’s condition. We ask that you do not try to place the band back yourself. Our team will be able to let you know if an emergency appointment is needed.
Accidents Happen, But We Are Here To Help!
In the case a piece of your braces comes loose or undone, be very careful when it comes to successfully removing it from harm’s way inside of your mouth. While rare, we want you to feel prepared to handle situations when you are outside of the office. Please bring any loose pieces that may have fallen out from a breakage so we can replace them for you.
Don’t forget to give us a call when something happens to your braces. Whether big or small, when we are aware of the situation ahead of your next appointment we can walk you through the best next steps and schedule enough time to solve any breakage.
Tips On How To Avoid Broken Braces
Eat Braces-Friendly Foods
When wearing braces, there are some food restrictions that come with treatment in order to keep them in the best shape possible. Avoid eating very chewy, sticky, and crunchy foods such as gummy candy, caramel, or dense crackers. As mentioned above, they may get stuck in your braces and wear them down during treatment. Though your favorite food may fall under one of these categories, the long-term smile results you accomplish through just a year or so of treatment are well worth the wait!
Wear A Mouthguard
If you play sports or engage in similar contact physical activity, Dr. Lili & Associates recommends you wear a mouthguard to help protect your appliance and the overall condition of your teeth and avoid any potential trauma. There are even guards made with braces wearers in mind so you can comfortably wear one.
Continue Practicing Everyday Dental Care
Brushing and flossing your teeth each day is a powerful way to keep your teeth healthy and your braces in great condition. Because braces cover some areas of your teeth and require more effort to clean everything well, it is important to prioritize your hygiene to ensure your treatment goes according to plan.
Handle Your Braces With Care Today, Enjoy The Benefits Of Treatment Tomorrow!
Our goal is to make sure you feel ready to handle anything that comes your way, but if you are unsure of how to handle a braces emergency, don’t hesitate to ask for our team’s help! Your comfort and safety are a top priority. Contact any of our seven locations across southern California at 866-845-8552 to schedule an appointment or a free consultation with us!