Your braces journey may encounter a few hiccups on the way, like when a wire breaks or pops out of its bracket.
But don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world!
The important thing is to quickly address the issue before you rush to your orthodontist’s office.
They’ll have your braces back in tip-top shape in no time, keeping you on track for that incredible smile you’re working towards!
3 Types of Wires
Most orthodontists employ three types of wires for braces: stainless steel, nickel-titanium (NiTi), and beta-titanium.
Each of these wires has its own cool features and uses in the journey toward a perfect smile:
- Stainless Steel: The old-school, traditional material used in brace wires. They are sturdy enough to move your teeth into the proper position. The downside? They’re noticeable and need frequent adjustments to get the job done.
- Nickel-Titanium (NiTi): The flexibility of this material allows the wire to bend and twist without breaking.NiTi wires also adjust to the temperature of your mouth, which helps apply gentle, continuous pressure on your teeth. Plus, they’re less noticeable than stainless steel.
- Beta-Titanium: A mix between stainless steel and NiTi. They’re sturdier than NiTi but more flexible than stainless steel. Beta-titanium wires are optimal when your orthodontist needs to go more granular with your tooth movement.
5 Reasons for Braces Wire Breakage
- Eating Hard Foods: The force from biting down on hard candies, nuts, or even crunchy veggies may cause the wire to bend, loosen, or even snap.
- Mouth Trauma: Whether it’s a sports injury, a fall, or accidentally getting bumped in the mouth, such impacts can knock your brace wire out of place.
- Poking at the Braces: The involuntary habit of poking at your braces with fingers or sharp objects gradually weakens the wires, causing them to bend or break.
- Wear and Tear Over Time: The constant pressure to move your teeth eventually leads to wire fatigue and breakage.
- Improper Brushing Technique: Brushing your teeth too hard or using the wrong technique also contributes to wire breakage.
Is It Common for Broken Wires to Occur?
While it’s not common, brace wire breakage is not rare either.
Some patients never go through a wire break, while others experience it a few times during orthodontic treatment. It all depends on what you eat, how you brush, and how your mouth moves.
5 Reasons for Wires Coming Out of Their Brackets
- Eating Hard or Sticky Foods: The pressure from chowing down on hard candies or popcorn can make the wire pop out of its brackets.
- Improper Brushing: Brushing your teeth too hard may cause the wire to come loose.
- Broken or Loose Brackets: The wire can slip out if a bracket isn’t firmly attached to your tooth.
- Mouth Trauma: Accidents happen—maybe a ball hits your mouth during sports, or you bump your mouth somehow.
- Normal Wear and Tear: Normal wear and tear from everyday use causes the wire to shift or come out.
Is It Common for Wires to Come Out of Their Brackets?
Having brace wires pop out of their brackets is a common occurrence.
Most orthodontic patients experience it at least once.
So, if it happens to you, know that you’re not alone in this!
5 Injuries Caused by a Broken Wire
- Poking and Scratching: Broken wires can poke into your gums, cheek, or even your tongue, causing scratches or small cuts inside your mouth.
- Irritation and Sores: Ongoing irritation from a broken wire may lead to sores or mouth ulcers.
- Infection Risk: Those tiny cuts or sores become infected if not cared for.
- Gum Issues: A broken wire can get embedded in your gums, causing swelling, redness, and discomfort.
- Damage to Teeth: In rare cases, a loose wire causes tooth misalignment, especially if not fixed for a long time.
What Should I Do if My Braces Wire Comes Out?
Keeping the Broken Wire Away with Orthodontic Wax
This soft, moldable wax covers up the broken end of a wire, keeping it from poking or scratching the inside of your mouth.
First, pinch off a piece of the wax small enough to cover the end of the broken wire.
Then, roll the wax between your fingers to warm it up and make it more pliable.
Once it’s soft, gently press it onto the troublesome wire or bracket.
The best part? Since it’s clear or tooth-colored, orthodontic wax is barely noticeable!
Clipping the Broken Wire Off
If the broken wire gives you a hard time, clipping it off becomes imperative.
For this, you’ll need a pair of sterilized nail clippers or a small wire cutter. Be sure to sterilize your tool of choice beforehand by wiping it with alcohol.
Use a mirror to help you see exactly where the wire is broken. The goal is to clip the wire back as close to the next bracket as possible.
When you’re ready to clip, keep your composure and gently snip the wire. Put a finger over the wire as you clip it to ensure the cut piece doesn’t fly off into your mouth.
After you’ve clipped the wire, use your fingers to gently press down any sharp ends against the nearest bracket. Apply orthodontic wax over the area for extra protection.
Clipping the broken wire is only temporary, so call your orthodontist as soon as possible and schedule an appointment to fix it properly.
How to Ensure Your Braces Wire Stays Put
- Watch What You Eat: Instead of caramel, hard candies, nuts, and gum, stick to softer, braces-friendly foods.
- Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Brush gently around each bracket and wire, and don’t forget to floss.
- Wear a Sports Mouth Guard: Mouth guards protect your braces and mouth from any impacts that could knock wires loose.
- Regular Orthodontic Check-Ups: Your orthodontist will check your wires and brackets to ensure everything is in place and make necessary adjustments.
- Use the Right Tools for Oral Hygiene: Our recommendation is to use soft-bristled toothbrushes and gentle, circular brushing motions.
- Avoid Bad Habits: Biting your nails, chewing on pens, or pulling on your braces with your fingers all lead to loose wires.
Follow Our Tips to Keep Your Braces Wire in Perfect Shape!
Contact Patuxent Orthodontics if orthodontic care is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic care or have questions about the process, use our live chat, call (240) 802-7217, or message us through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary consultation!
Our office, located at 44220 Airport View Dr., Hollywood, MD 20636, proudly serves Maryland’s Patuxent area, as well as the Greater Washington DC area. So, if you’re residing in Hollywood, Wildewood, or Leonardtown and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Maryland, don’t hesitate to visit our office!
We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining your perfect smile, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!
- “Braces Wire Came out of the Back Bracket? Here’s What to Do.” Braces Know How, bracesknowhow.com/braces-wire-came-out/. Accessed 24 Nov. 2023.
- Broken Braces? What to Do If a Bracket or Wire Breaks (Don’t Panic!), www.theorthodontists.com.au/blog/broken-braces-what-to-do-if-a-bracket-or-wire-breaks-don-t-panic. Accessed 24 Nov. 2023.
- “Common Braces Wires Risks, Problems, and at-Home Solutions.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/braces-wire. Accessed 24 Nov. 2023.
- “What to Do If Braces Wire Breaks or Comes Loose? – Dr. Almy.” Fredericksburg Orthodontics, fredericksburgorthodontics.com/blog/loose-broken-wires/. Accessed 24 Nov. 2023.