Broken Braces? What To Do if a Bracket or Wire Breaks

A close up on a women's mouth as she pulls down her bottom lip to reveal a fixed brace
Anchal Puri headshot, Specialist Orthodontist

Anchal Puri

Specialist Orthodontist


20 October 2023
2 min read

From Broken Brackets to Sharp Wires: Orthodontic Appliance Breakage Guide

Windmill Orthodontics patients can report their issues here.

When it comes to orthodontic treatment, managing issues like broken brace wires is vital for maintaining your progress. In this article, we'll outline a few practical solutions, and steps to prevent future issues.

Causes of Broken Braces

  1. Food Choices: Some foods can increase the risk of braces breakage. Avoid gummy candies and similar sweets. Be cautious with hard or crunchy foods like corn, popcorn, and crisps can also pose a risk.
  2. Physical Impact: Engaging in contact sports can increase the risk of your braces breaking. Learn about the importance of mouth guards in safeguarding your orthodontic work.
  3. Oral Habits: Aggressive oral habits, such as harsh toothbrushing and chewing on hard objects, can be harmful to your braces.
  4. Prodding and Poking: Using inappropriate tools to clean your braces can lead to damage. Discover the proper tools to maintain your braces effectively.
  5. Night Grinding: Teeth grinding at night, coupled with deep bites, can exert excessive pressure on your braces, potentially causing breakages.

Consequences of Broken Braces

  1. Discomfort: Broken braces wires can cause discomfort when they poke into your mouth.
  2. Cuts and Sores: Breakages can lead to cuts and sores that may result in bleeding and oral infection.
  3. Infection Risks: Understand the potential risks of infections associated with cuts and sores caused by broken braces.

Immediate Response to Broken Braces

  1. Don't worry: Recognise that broken braces are NOT a dental emergency, and remaining calm is essential.
  2. Inspect Teeth and Braces: Assess the damage by examining your teeth and braces.
  3. Temporary At-Home Remedies: Use orthodontic wax to soothe and protect against the discomfort that often comes with broken wires, keeping your mouth and gums feeling comfortable.
  4. Pain Management: Find relief from discomfort with methods like saltwater rinses and over-the-counter medications.
  5. Avoid Clipping Sharp or Broken Wires at Home: Clipping a protruding wire should be a last resort as it can be dangerous.
  6. Orthodontist Appointment: Let us know as soon as you have a problem – please don’t leave it until your next visit.

Preventing Future Brace Breakages

  1. Practise Safe Oral Habits: Explore the benefits of gentle brushing with soft-bristled toothbrushes and using interdental brushes or floss instead of your fingers or toothpicks.
  2. Dietary Considerations: Avoiding hard, crunchy, or sticky foods can help protect your braces.
  3. Don’t fiddle with your braces, chew pencils or bite fingernails.
  4. Attend regular check-ups with your family dentist.

Incorporating these strategies and insights will help you manage the challenges of broken braces and broken braces wires, ensuring a smoother orthodontic journey.

A beautiful smile

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