In an ideal world, braces shouldn’t break. But anyone who has had a brace will know that the reality can be rather different.
Breakages can cause problems if they happen often. Treatment times become very long and having to attend for emergency appointments can be inconvenient for families.
All of our orthodontic patients receive guidance when they have their braces placed.
So why can breakages still sometimes happen?
1. Brackets (the metal squares that hold the wires) are attached using ‘acrylic resin’.
This glue is carefully selected based on the best available evidence from scientific studies to be strong enough to hold the brackets in place, but not so strong that teeth are damaged when the braces are eventually removed.
The squares become dislodged if hard chewy foods are eaten or if biting forces are too hard. Another reason that breakages occur include finger nail biting and pen-top chewing.
The wires that are used at the beginning of treatment need to be very thin, especially if the teeth are very crooked. This means that they can ‘flick out’ of the brackets if care is not taken when chewing.
As the treatment progresses, the wires become much thicker so this should happen less often.
How to reduce breakages
- Avoid hard and sticky foods
- Cut food up into small pieces and chew slowly
- Avoid habits such as finger nail biting and pen-top chewing
If you have a breakage…
Contact the office to inform us of the breakage. Depending on when your next appointment is scheduled and how bothersome the breakage is, we will arrange an extra visit as needed. In the meantime, use wax to help stabilize anything that is loose and keep the lips and cheeks comfortable (sugar-free gum can also be used in place of wax if you are in a bind).