Millions of people at any given time have braces on their teeth. One of the concerns that come along with having braces is trying to avoid breaking them. A broken brace can mean more time sitting in the orthodontist’s chair as they fix it, and sometimes can also create an additional out-of-pocket expense. Besides, who wants to keep spending time at the orthodontist office for broken braces if we can do things to avoid it?
Oftentimes when people have a broken brace, it was caused by something that could have been prevented. Perhaps it was a food that they ate or something that they did, but even if it could not have been avoided, the fact remains that it can be painful, as well as time consuming to address. Some of the most common broken brace problems include broken brackets, loose bands, loose braces, broken wires, and wires that are sticking out. If something happens like a loose bracket, it can lead to a broken wire. When you have a broken wire in your mouth, it can be a source of irritation and pain. The best way to avoid broken braces is to try to prevent breakage the best that you can.
Here are some tips for avoiding broken braces:
•Avoid Certain Foods. There are many foods that will increase your chances of a broken brace. You may even know what some of those are already, but others you may not. Some of the foods that will increase your chances of breaking your braces include sticky candies (e.g., Tootsie Rolls, taffy, caramel, Starbursts), hard candy (e.g., Jolly Ranchers), gummy bears, foods high in sugar, gum that isn’t sugar free, ice, and popped popcorn.
•Use Caution with Other Foods. There are many other foods that can pose a problem if you don’t take precautions. Certain foods should be cut up into small bite-sized pieces and then chewed with the back teeth. These include corn on the cob, carrots of all sizes, bagels, meat, apples, crusty bread, pizza, and other foods that are hard or overly chewy.
•Additional Precautions to Take. It is also important to make sure that you are taking care of your teeth by brushing and flossing each day, and that you don’t do things to harm your teeth, such as chew on pens and pencils. You should also avoid biting into things with your front teeth. Instead, cut the food into small pieces to minimize the risk of breaking or loosening brackets.
If you are in need of a repair, contact your orthodontist. The breaks take time to fix, and pieces may need to be replaced, rather than just repaired. If you are in pain or discomfort, you should contact your orthodontist right away for an appointment. If you have a broken brace, but you are not in pain, then you should still contact your orthodontist, but let them know there is no pain. They may have you hold off and fix it at your next appointment.