How to Handle a Broken Bracket

Posted on 07/20/2016 by Dr. Lovrovich
A man covering his mouth, because he's broken a bracket.

You’re careful to avoid hard and chewy foods, and you brush your teeth diligently every day. However, despite your best efforts, one of the brackets of your braces has suddenly popped off. What should you do?

Assess the Damage

If your bracket pops off in your mouth, find the missing piece, and then check out the damage.

If the bracket is still attached to the wire, but isn’t on your tooth, try and gently push it back onto the tooth, and use wax to hold it in place until you’re able to see your orthodontist. If the bracket has come completely loose, put it in a Ziploc bag for safe keeping.

Protect Your Mouth

If you have wires protruding from your braces now that your bracket has come off, you’ll need to take steps to prevent cutting the inside of your mouth. Consider trimming long wires with a pair of nail clippers so that it stays close to your teeth. Cover any extra length with wax for further protection.

Call Your Orthodontist

Make sure that you call your orthodontist right away to book an appointment. If you are not in any considerable pain or discomfort, this might not be an emergency situation and you can wait for a few days or even until your next appointment.

In the meantime, rinse out your mouth with saltwater and only eat soft foods so that you don’t do additional damage to your braces. If your mouth is sore as a result of the broken braces, use over the counter pain medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen to ease your discomfort.

While a broken bracket doesn’t necessarily warrant a dental emergency, you should consider your unique situation. If your mouth appears to need urgent attention, call our office right away to get in for the next appointment, and talk to your orthodontist about what you can do to prevent breaks in the future.

4540 Sand Point Way NE, Suite 140
Seattle WA 98105-3941

Tel: (206) 525-7000
Fax: (206) 525-0479

Driving Directions