Dental braces are an orthodontic tool that can help people of all ages get straight, perfectly aligned teeth. Braces are typically worn for 18 months, although some people's treatments take longer than others. Unfortunately, problems may arise during your orthodontic treatment, either through user error or by accident. If your braces break during your treatment, here are four things you should do:
1. Minimize your risk of injury.
Dental braces are made of metal pieces. Metal brackets are attached to your teeth with strong dental adhesive, and metal wires place tension on the brackets. These pieces can cause injury if they're broken. If your braces break, minimize your risk of injury by cushioning any sharp metal edges using dental wax. If you don't have dental wax available, you can use gauze or cotton balls instead.
2. Leave everything in place.
You may be tempted to tinker with your broken braces, pulling out loose parts. However, it's best to avoid tampering with broken braces. Leave everything as-is until you can see your orthodontist, unless doing so poses a risk to your health. If a piece of your braces falls out on its own, keep it safe until you can give it to your dentist.
3. Call your orthodontist as soon as possible.
Broken braces are a dental emergency. They pose a risk to your oral safety. The lapse in effective braces tension can also set your orthodontic treatment back if it isn't promptly addressed. As soon as you've minimized the immediate risk to your oral safety, call your orthodontist. Explain the problem over the phone and schedule an emergency appointment. Your orthodontist will make every effort to get you into their office as soon as possible. Many orthodontists are even willing to make same-day appointments for patients with emergencies.
4. Follow your orthodontist's instructions.
Following your orthodontic emergency, your dentist will repair anything that was broken. If a bracket fell off, your orthodontist will glue it back in place. Snapped wires will be replaced. Your orthodontist may ask you how you damaged your braces in the first place. If your braces broke due to user error, you will be advised to avoid that harmful action in the future. Your orthodontist will remind you to avoid eating certain foods while wearing braces, like gum, popcorn, and whole apples. It's very important that you follow your orthodontists' instructions to ensure a successful braces treatment.
For more information, reach out to an orthodontist.