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My Bracket is Loose, What do I do?

Loose bracket on braces

Orthodontic brackets are small stainless steel squares that are connected to the front and side of teeth and are an important part of traditional braces because they help move the teeth and correct the person's bite. Even if you take perfect care of your braces, sometimes accidents still happen. If you eat hard foods, get hit in the head, or even just bite your fingernails, your orthodontic brackets could come loose. This can also happen through no fault of your own - sometimes the bond between the teeth and braces just isn't as strong as it should be. If your braces brackets become loose, don't panic - here's what you should do.

Call your orthodontist

You should always call your orthodontist's office as soon as this happens. They can give you the appropriate guidance depending on what type of braces you have and your personal situation. They may ask you to make an appointment right away, depending on the severity of the break. If you have an appointment coming up anyway, they will likely address the problem then. However, you should still call them, because they can give you advice on what to do in the meantime.

Attempt to take the bracket off
Once the bracket has become loose, it poses a choking hazard, particularly while you are sleeping or if you play sports. If the break is severe and the rubber band has come off in addition to the bracket, you should try to take it off yourself to prevent this from happening. You will need a friend or family member's help with this. Use tweezers to remove the bracket gently. You can ask your orthodontist for more guidance if you are worried about doing this on your own.

Put wax over the bracket
If you decide not to take the bracket off, you should prepare for it to move around on your gums and cause some irritation. A good way to prevent your gums from becoming more irritated is to place a piece of wax over the top of the bracket. The wax will soothe the area and prevent the bracket from causing skin damage.

To prevent your brackets from breaking in the first place, you should be very careful with what you eat and avoid any activities that could cause an impact to the mouth. Of course, if you have any more questions, you should always contact your orthodontist.