A guide to broken braces
Although there are a wide variety of braces used to alter the alignment of crooked teeth, each with their own structure and material, every fixture is a complex design and requires a degree of care when being worn for a long period.
The appliances are extremely easy to lose, damage or come loose from their fixed position, which can mean they are not working as effectively as they should. Issues with broken braces mean they are not effectively moving the teeth, so it is vital to book an appointment with an orthodontist as soon as possible.
Individuals who fail to seek treatment for an ill-fitting or broken brace could end up wearing the equipment for a longer period, which could cause many people to experience low self-esteem.
The corrective fixtures are designed to apply pressure to certain areas of teeth and move them gradually into new positions to straighten out the crooked appearance. Although there are currently a large quantity of similar products available, traditional braces push teeth by exerting pressure through the combined efforts of archwires, metal ties and elastic bands.
In recent years, an increasing number of people have chosen to undergo orthodontic treatment to correct the alignment of their smile and create a dazzling set of pearly whites.
The previous stigma surrounding braces has been removed with the ever-increasing number of high-profile figures adopting the appliances to improve their teeth. Celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Tom Cruise, Gwen Stefani and Cheryl Cole are said to have used braces to create their Hollywood smiles.
In addition, the introduction of more aesthetically pleasing fixtures has increased the popularity of orthodontics among many adults, who are now able to wear the fixtures without feeling self-conscious about their appearance.
The advanced materials used to create innovative new braces mean they are a lot more comfortable and less noticeable for the naked eye to see, which is why dental professionals have seen a significant rise in the number of people requesting the treatment – because they no longer feel they have to live their lives with crooked teeth.
As the procedure becomes more common among image-conscious individuals, dental professionals have seen a significant increase in the number of broken braces they encounter. The most important thing for wearers to increase their awareness of is the suitable course of action to take if the fixtures break.
What problems can occur?
Fortunately, not all potential problems that can occur when a person wears braces are considered dental emergencies, with many people able to resolve the issue from the comfort of their own home. It is vital for individuals with more serious issues to keep the appliance in good condition until an appointment with an emergency dentist is made.
Because braces are usually manufactured from metal or ceramic using glue, archwires and elastic to provide the force, chewing certain types of food for a long period of time can cause the fixtures to become loose.
This is not necessarily a problem that needs to be addressed immediately, with many orthodontists simply tightening the appliance during a follow-up appointment. However, if the problem causes irritation to the cheeks, gums or mouth, a visit to a dental professional is in order to adjust or refit the braces.
In the case of a loosened elastic band, pain or discomfort is unlikely to be experienced by the patient, which could alleviate the requirement to visit an emergency dentist. This problem should not be ignored indefinitely, as the band will need to be cemented back into place.
If left untreated for too long, the pressure on the teeth is relaxed and the teeth settle into different positions, which may limit the chance of the teeth moving back into their newly corrected position. For this reason, it is important to speak to a dental professional as soon as possible after the issue is noted.
Archwires that become dislodged or broken can stick out at an awkward angle, making it one of the more irritating problems that can occur when wearing a brace. This protruding object can scratch or snag on the inside of the cheek, or gums and on the tongue, which can make chewing and swallowing much more difficult than usual.
An attempt to push the wire into a more comfortable position is recommended. Using a cotton wool ball may be useful to make the experience less painful. If the wire has scratched a sensitive area of the mouth, patients should use an antiseptic mouthwash to clean the wound and prevent the onset of an infection. If the issue becomes painful and the wire cannot be moved, it is vital to see an emergency dentist.
Those patients who successfully replace the archwire in its rightful position should still seek an appointment at a dental clinic to receive professional advice on the best course of action to take, as when this wire is moved by an untrained hand it will only provide a temporary solution.
Although many people may find braces particularly uncomfortable to wear during the first few months after they are fitted, the fixture is the most reliable and effective solution for correcting issues concerning tooth alignment.
When a dental professional completes the initial installation, patients usually receive some dental wax to make them less painful to wear. The soft substance can be rubbed on to areas of the mouth that are feeling discomfort and makes angles and spikes feel less abrasive.
When patients get used to the feeling of wearing a brace, they often find they require the dental wax less than usual. However, many dental professionals still recommend using the substance as and when it is needed, which can be particularly useful for those individuals with a broken archwire.
When people undergo orthodontics they will be required to attend regular trips to the dentist to have the brace tightened. It is vital for patients to ensure they carry this out because it is an integral part of the treatment, ensuring teeth move at the optimum speed and into the prime position – creating the perfect, dazzling smile in the least amount of time.
The practice is open Seven days a week from 8am to 11pm for routine dentistry and we offer a 24 hour emergency dental walk-in service 365 days a year. You can book a consultation at any time by calling our reception team 24 hours a day on 0208 547 9997 or contact us during our working hours by email.