“But I was just eating a pancake, and it broke!”
If you have worn braces, you have (or will) experienced that moment when you suddenly realize all is not what it should be. A wire can poke you, a bracket can break loose, or you can get hit in the mouth, either hurting your mouth or damaging your braces. The list can be long, and the effects can be frustrating and painful.
Your first instinct may be that the glue isn’t strong enough, so a few words about that.
Orthodontic glue is designed to be strong enough to hold your brackets to your teeth yet weak enough to let go of your tooth in the event of a blow. Think about it…if it were so strong that it never let go, then we’d never be able to get your braces off at the end of treatment! It’s a safety design that allows the bracket to break loose without breaking your tooth.
Impact to the brace–and that glue–can come from many sources: your teammate’s head, a baseball, the floor hitting your face, chewing on something hard like a Jolly Rancher, and more. Many things can put enough force on your bracket to cause the glue to let go and save your tooth.
The problem is that every time this happens, it requires a trip to our office to fix the problem. If other damage has occurred (the tooth has been moved out of position, the wire or appliance is permanently destroyed) then it can take time to have an appliance remade or put back into your mouth. In fact, research has shown that every broken brace that you have during treatment typically adds one whole month to treatment time.
Our advice? Watch what you eat, and wear a mouth guard when playing contact sports. Those braces, and the glue that holds them in place, are scientifically designed to do their job if they can stay in the right place – on your teeth.
Now about that pancake…unless you had pecan-filled pancakes, it wasn’t what knocked off your bracket. And about that Jolly Rancher…is it worth spending one more month in braces to enjoy it for a few minutes?
For information of foods to avoid and how to handle orthodontic emergencies, click here.