What to Do When Braces (Brackets) Fall Off

Your orthodontist warned you not to bite into any hard candies or foods to avoid your brackets or braces wires coming loose, but you couldn’t resist the urge to bite down on a Jolly Rancher.

You notice a metal bracket loose in your mouth, and you realize this is what your orthodontist warned you about. So, how do you know what to do if a bracket falls off of your braces?


1. Stay calm if a bracket falls off your braces.

Although it may seem like a big deal when you feel a bracket pop out of place, or your braces wire coming loose, it’s not the end of the world. It happens, and we’re prepared to fix it!

You may wonder, “Is it normal for brackets to pop off?” Well, it’s not necessarily normal, but it does happen. Adjusting to your braces means altering your eating habits to accommodate your brackets and wires. This adjustment period can take a while, and that’s okay! After all, you’ve lived your whole life without having to be cautious of brackets and wires in your mouth.

Don’t panic. If you can save your bracket, place it in a baggie and bring it to your appointment with us.


2. Use orthodontic wax if your braces wire is loose.

If you’re undergoing metal or ceramic braces treatment, it’s an excellent idea to keep orthodontic wax on hand at all times. You never know when you may need it!

Orthodontic wax, or dental wax, is a harmless wax that works to protect the cheek and gums from pokey wires or metal pieces throughout orthodontic treatment.


How to Use Orthodontic Wax

Step 1: Wash your hands. Always make sure your hands are clean before they touch your mouth!
Step 2: Use your toothbrush or a travel toothbrush to clear debris from your braces before applying wax.
Step 3: Pull off a small piece of orthodontic wax, and roll it into a ball.
Step 4: Place the ball of wax over the loose bracket or wire to create a barrier between the metal and your cheek or gums.

Orthodontic wax will temporarily protect your tender cheeks and gums until you’re able to visit our office. (You can use orthodontic wax even if you don’t have a loose bracket or wire! Any sort of irritation caused by loose wires or bothersome brackets may be alleviated with wax.) The wax adheres better to drier surfaces so try to swallow well before placing it on the area that is bothering you.


3. Schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible.

The next step to mending your broken braces bracket is visiting us! Give us a call as soon as your bracket pops out of place, and we’ll schedule the soonest possible appointment for you.

If your bracket pops off during the weekend, leave us a voicemail, and we’ll reach out to you as soon as we’re back in the office. If it is bothering you to the point you are not able to eat or sleep or have any sort of swelling, you can call the emergency number on our voicemail. In the meantime, use your orthodontic wax to hold your wire in place and mitigate any irritation.


What happens if you swallow a bracket?
This isn’t a common scenario, but it has happened. If you swallow your bracket, don’t panic. Typically the bracket will pass through your digestive system.

If you notice any difficulty breathing or any pain in your stomach, it’s crucial that you go to the emergency room. These signs could mean that the bracket is stuck in your lungs or digestive tract, which needs to be brought to a doctor’s attention immediately. Please give us a call immediately if you have any of these symptoms.


If your braces bracket comes off, don’t stress! These things happen! You might experience a challenge or two throughout your orthodontic treatment, but it’s nothing that hasn’t happened before.

If you ever have any concerns, give us a call and we’ll answer any questions we can over the phone. Otherwise, request an appointment with us and we’ll see you as soon as possible to solve any problems.

We offer a variety of braces and Invisalign in Melbourne, Merritt Island, and Viera. If you’re seeking an orthodontist near you, schedule your free orthodontic exam with us today!