Braces help you smile. Broken braces make you frown.
A break in your braces can cut your mouth and send you to the orthodontist. But you can be proactive. With a few simple steps, you can prevent breaks from occurring and resolve them when they do occur.
Here is a brief guide to maintaining your braces and fixing broken brackets.
Prevent Your Braces From Breaking
You can brush your teeth, floss, and eat while wearing braces. But you do need to take precautions to avoid breaking your braces.
Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointing your bristles downward or upward toward your gums. Brush in short circles or back-and-forth strokes, brushing one tooth at a time. Brush the outside, inside, and chewing surfaces of your teeth. Move up and down when brushing the inner surfaces.
Use a two foot long piece of waxed floss. Take your time placing the floss behind the wire and around the bracket. If flossing is too uncomfortable for you, use a water pick or floss threader.
Eat soft foods like yogurt and applesauce. Avoid hard carrots, apples, and candies. Avoid sugary foods and drinks, as sugar creates plaque. Avoid tea and coffee, as they can stain your teeth.
Avoid any impacts to your mouth and face. Sleep on your back and prop your head to keep it from rolling. Do not perform an intense exercise like boxing, as an impact could break your braces.
What to Do With Broken Braces
When your braces break, do not panic. They can be fixed easily.
As soon as your braces break, go to a mirror. Look into your mouth and determine the damage.
If your bracket is still in contact with the wire, you need to keep the bracket in place. Cover it with a piece of orthodontic wax and stabilize it. Do not touch it again.
If your bracket has fallen off, you can put it back into position. Use a cotton swab to slide it back, then stabilize it with wax.
If you cannot secure your bracket, leave it as it is. Put the bracket in a plastic bag and schedule an appointment with your orthodontist. They will reattach it for you.
If your wire has broken, you need to keep it from touching your lip or gums. Clip the wire with a pair of fingernail clippers, applied as close to the bracket as possible. Avoid touching the break with your lips, gums, or tongue.
If you have swallowed any part of your braces, do not panic. The human digestion tract usually breaks it down. See a doctor if you have stomach pain or difficulty breathing.
After any break to your braces, call your orthodontist. They will fix the break. Talk to them about steps you can take to avoid another one.
Stay Smart About Your Dental Health
Dental braces are important tools to improve your dental health. But they are not perfect. They can break, and you need to be ready if they do.
Avoid aggressive brushing and flossing. Do not eat hard foods. Identify a break as soon as one occurs, and trim your wires if they could cut you. Call your orthodontist if you cannot fix your broken braces.
It is up to you to maintain your dental health. Follow our blog and remain smart about your teeth and braces.