Dealing With Kid's Broken Braces

November 2013

Although braces are one of the best ways to correct orthodontic issues, they have the major drawback of being damaged by accidents, physical sports or certain food types. While many children are taught how to care for their braces, accidents will happen, so it is important to know how you should manage any damage to your child’s braces.

If your child's braces are broken or damaged, there is a great temptation to try and repair them yourself thereby avoiding a trip to the orthodontist. One of the methods parents attempt is to use is an application of an adhesive to affect repair. This is highly discourage and not recommended and can actually cause additional damage to the appliance. It is far better to seek professional orthodontic attention, so the braces can be repaired with specialist tools and expert knowledge. However, if the damage occurs out of hours and the braces are causing pain or discomfort, it may be possible to make a slight adjustment to relieve the problem until the child can be seen by an orthodontist.

Ligature Wire Issues:

If the ligature wire has begun to poke the cheek, you may be able to tuck the wire using a Q-tip or a soft eraser of a pencil. In some cases the wire is too long. In this instance you should cover the end with wax until the child can be seen by their orthodontist. If this does not provide relief as a last resort you could trim the wire with small wire cutters or nail clippers. For situations where the primary arch wire has worked out of the tube, it may be possible to reinsert it into position using tweezers or needle nosed pliers. Be sure to use gentle pressure to prevent causing further damage or injury. If you are not able to manipulate the ligature wire properly, use wax to cover the affected area which can prevent discomfort and further damage.

Rubber Ligature Issues:

Braces use tiny rubber bands and elastics to hold the wires of the braces in place. It can be a very common issue to have these rubber ligatures come off or break. Neither of these scenarios is an emergency situation. However, it may be possible to put a rubber ligature back into place using tweezers. Be sure to sterilize the tweezers to prevent the risk of infection. In cases where it is not possible to manipulate the ligature back into place or the elastic chain has broken simply call your orthodontist for a regular appointment to resolve the issue.

If any piece of the brace brakes off completely, don't discard them. Save those pieces and take them with you to the orthodontist, as it may be possible that they can be repaired. It can be quite common for brackets to become dislodged and your dental professional may be able to reattach the bracket with special adhesive.

Pain or Mouth Irritation:

If the broken braces have caused mouth irritation which in turn is causing pain or discomfort for your child, you may find that rinsing with warm salt water does provide some minor relief. If the discomfort is being caused by bowing arch wires, place a ball of cotton over the wire to relieve the pressure.

If the pain is caused by mouth ulcers, your child may require a dental rinse to protect the mouth and soft tissues to facilitate healing. These types of rinses can provide an anaesthetic effect which eases pain or discomfort while the sores heal.

If you are concerned about your child's broken braces or require further help or guidance, contact Fremont Orthodontics. We provide expert orthodontic services for patients of all ages but we specialize in providing orthodontic treatment for children. We would be delighted to assist you with any questions or queries you may have.

Call for a Free Initial Consultation 510.792.2333.