Broken Brackets – What You Need to Know

There are so many reasons why a bracket may break. Sometimes it’s about how you are taking care of your braces. Other times it’s the result of the bonding process at the orthodontist office.

Here’s a few ways that the person wearing braces might cause one to break:

  • Repeatedly biting into food that is too hard, crunch, or sticky (ice, chips, pretzels, laffy taffy)
  • Grinding your teeth at night and putting too much pressure on your braces
  • Getting hit in the mouth while  playing contact sports or another physical activity.
  • Playing around with your brackets too often
  • Having a “deep bite” that causes your top teeth to bite down on top of the lower brackets

If none of those items apply to you,  it’s possible that the broken bracket was caused by something that happened during the bonding process at the orthodontist office.  

Here are a few things that could cause a weaker bond of the braces during the bracket bonding process.

  • The teeth got wet during the bonding process. Any amount of saliva on the teeth can weaken the bond. It can be difficult to keep all the teeth dry in the mouth.
  • The teeth weren’t totally clean during the bonding process.  Any amount of plaque, food, or tartar on the teeth can weaken the bond of the braces.  Orthodontists generally clean the teeth off prior to bonding the braces, but there are times when one of the teeth may not be cleaned sufficiently.
  • The brackets got bumped or moved during the bonding process.  This is especially common with young children who have a hard time sitting still.  If the braces or bumped or shifted while bonding, it can weaken the bond.

As you can see there are so many factors behind a bracket breaking – but no matter what caused it, know that  IT IS OKAY!  Broken brackets are not a big deal and they are not an emergency.  Almost every orthodontic patient has at least one broken bracket during treatment and orthodontists are used to fixing brackets for their patients….

…so if you or your child has a broken bracket, don’t stress!

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