If you have experienced the process of having braces fitted to your teeth, then the chances are high that you may have worried about a broken bracket – or even experienced one yourself; this is a problem that is more common than you may think.
If you are wondering whether your bracket is broken, then read on to learn all you need to know, including the next steps you need to take to keep your teeth healthy.
What Are Braces?
Braces are removable orthodontic appliances that are used to straighten and align crooked teeth and are very common.
They are made up of brackets, wires, and rubber bands, which are attached to each tooth in order to move them into place.
The first step in fitting braces is to remove any decayed or damaged enamel from around the tooth, as well as clean it thoroughly with an ultrasonic scaler.
Next, the dentist will use a special tool called an explorer to find out where the tooth’s roots are located.
This can be done by pressing down gently on the tooth, and if there is no resistance, the dentist knows that the root has been found.
Once the location of the root has been determined, the dentist will drill a small hole through the crown of the tooth, and then insert a tiny camera (called an x-ray) into the hole.
The camera sends images back to the computer, which uses software to create a 3D image of the inside of the mouth.
The dentist can see exactly what needs to be corrected, and how much work needs to be done, and the treatment plan is drawn up.
How Do I Know If My Brackets Are Broken?
A broken bracket is usually pretty easy to identify; as the bracket will have come away from your tooth, and you will likely notice it beginning to move or slide freely across the wire.
In some cases, the bracket may also spin. If you do not feel anything when you try to move the bracket, however, then it could mean that the bracket is still stuck to the tooth, and so you should contact your orthodontist immediately.
If you suspect that your bracket is broken, you should call your orthodontist right away, and they will be able to resolve the issue without too much stress.
What Can Cause A Broken Bracket?
There are several reasons why a bracket might break, and some of the most common include:
Improper placement of the bracket on the tooth is a common reason behind many breakages.
When the brace is being fitted, it is important that the bracket is placed correctly, and that it does not touch the gum line.
If it does, then the bracket will eventually loosen and fall off.
It is vital that the area surrounding the tooth is cleaned properly before the bracket is put in place – if your orthodontist failed to clean the tooth properly, then the bracket may not adhere to the surface properly.
When your braces are in place, it is also important to make sure that you are cleaning your teeth properly twice a day with a quality toothbrush.
Using too much force when putting the bracket in place can cause the bracket to break, especially if the bracket is already loose.
To prevent this from happening, make sure that you only apply just enough pressure to hold the bracket onto the tooth, and avoid pressing on the brackets when they are in place.
Bad Bracket Design
Some designs of brackets are more prone to breaking than others. For example, metal brackets tend to bend less easily than plastic ones, but they are also harder to attach to the tooth.
It is therefore important that you choose the correct design for your particular situation.
In some cases, the wrong bracket size may also have been used for your teeth; if this is the case, the whole brace may need to be refitted.
Sometimes the tooth itself breaks due to trauma. This is very rare, but it is possible. If you think that your bracket has been damaged by trauma, then you should contact your orthodontist immediately.
How Long Will It Take To Fix A Broken Bracket?
The length of time needed to fix a broken bracket depends on the severity of the problem. If the bracket is loose, then it will probably take no longer than an hour to repair.
However, if the bracket has actually broken, then it will require a visit to the dentist to replace the part.
How Much Do They Cost?
The cost of fixing a broken bracket varies depending on the type of bracket involved.
Metal brackets are generally more expensive than plastic ones, which means that replacing them will cost more money.
However, if you have a fixed price quote from your orthodontist, then you know exactly what you are paying for.
How Can I Keep Teeth Healthy With Braces?
While your teeth are covered in braces, it is important to keep them healthy. This involves regular brushing and flossing, as well as limiting sugary foods and drinks.
You should also try to eat a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
If you follow these simple steps, you will help ensure that your teeth stay healthy while you wear braces.
A broken bracket can be an inconvenience, but there is no reason why it should stop your treatment or ruin your results.
The main priority here is to get the broken bracket fixed and back in place as soon as possible by scheduling an appointment with your orthodontist; the longer you leave it, the greater the chance that your teeth will have a chance to move out of place.
Fortunately, fixing your bracket is a fast, relatively painless procedure that should be over within no time.