Loose Wires and Braces: What to Do When You Can’t Get to Your Dentist ASAP

Loose Wires and Braces: What to Do When You Can’t Get to Your Dentist ASAP

"Dentist explaining to a patient

Traditional (wire and bracket) braces are very effective at correcting crooked and misaligned teeth. They are also considerably more affordable than other dental treatments. This is why orthodontists continue to offer them even though there are new options like ceramic braces and Invisalign clear aligners available. The downside is that traditional braces are not very comfortable. Sometimes, for instance, the wire or bracket may also come loose.

Bracket trouble could happen if you bite hard on or vigorously chew food, brush your teeth too forcefully, or experience physical trauma in the dental area. Should this occur, you must be careful to avoid hurting your mouth or damaging the braces.

Temporary Fixes

Take a small mirror and thoroughly inspect your braces. See if loose or snapped wires are visible and reachable. Bluffton Orthodontics in South Carolina suggests using the back of a spoon or a pencil eraser to carefully push the wire back into place or at least bend them along your teeth to prevent scratches and wounds in your inner cheeks and gums.

If a bracket moves out of place, you can use sterile tweezers to slide it back. If, however, it feels painful or if you feel it tugging on other areas of your braces, leave it to your orthodontist to adjust on your next visit. If a bracket falls off, keep it. Your orthodontist can reattach it on your next visit.

Dental Wax

Anyone who wears traditional braces should always have some dental wax handy. You can apply wax in any location that bothers you, such as over a bracket that rubs your inner cheek raw or a protruding wire tip that pokes into your gums each time you chew. Dental wax is non-toxic and edible (though dentists won’t recommend ingesting them either).

Dental wax can also hold loose braces in place temporarily. You need to remove them before eating, however, and replace them several times a day.

Knowing these temporary fixes is handy. If you are experiencing more difficulties in handling the braces, though, contact your dentist to be sure. Even if your braces seem to be in good condition, your doctor might think otherwise. Avoid the possibility of getting oral wounds and infection and schedule an appointment as early as possible.