Broken Bracket Braces: 4 Steps to Take Till You Reach an Emergency Dentist

Braces help millions of people around the world every year. These orthodontic marvels can straighten teeth and correct alignment issues. 

Despite their durability, brace brackets or wires can sometimes break or get damaged, causing discomfort. A broken bracket occurs when this small piece of orthodontia becomes dislodged or damaged, disrupting the treatment process.

While a broken bracket may seem like a minor inconvenience, its impact can be significant. Not only can it impede the progress of your orthodontic treatment, but it can also increase the risk of further damage to your teeth and braces. 

At City of Lights Dental, we can help fix your broken bracket braces and keep your treatment on track. But what if you are unable to reach us immediately? 

Not to worry! We will tell you the four steps you can take to care for your broken bracket braces until you reach an emergency dentist. 

What are Brace Brackets Used For?

Brackets are the metal hardware that serves as the anchors for your braces. These brace brackets are not impervious to damage and can occasionally break. The damage to brace brackets usually occurs after eating hard, sticky, or chewy foods. Your bracket can also break if you are misusing your teeth and using them as tools. 

Brace brackets are interlinked with the wires of your braces. Together, they exert gentle and consistent pressure on your teeth, guiding them toward their correct alignment, even down to the roots. When your brace bracket breaks, this pressure is disrupted, halting the progress of your treatment. 

That is why it is essential to know what steps you can take to manage a broken bracket brace situation until you see your emergency dentist.

4 Steps to Take for a Broken Bracket Brace

Step 1: Assess the Situation

  • Check for discomfort or pain: A broken bracket can cause irritation and soreness, especially if it’s rubbing against the soft tissues of your mouth. Assess if there are any sharp edges or protrusions that could be causing discomfort.
  • Inspect: Be careful and examine the broken bracket and surrounding area. Check for a loose or dislodged bracket, broken wires, or other abnormalities. 

Check for further damage: Check if any other components of your braces are damaged. This includes wires, bands, or other brackets.

Broken Bracket Braces

Step 2: Take Control of the Situation

Sadly, you cannot glue back a broken bracket brace yourself. However, you can take control of the situation until you see your orthodontist. 

  • Gently rinse your mouth: with warm water to remove any food particles or debris around the broken bracket. This will help keep the area clean and prevent further irritation or infection.
  • Apply orthodontic wax to cover any sharp edges: or protrusions from the broken bracket. This prevents the bracket from rubbing against your cheeks, lips, or tongue, reducing discomfort. 

Step 3: Pain Management

  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers: Pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate symptoms like discomfort or pain from a broken bracket brace. Follow the instructions on the package. 
  • Use cold compress: Apply a cold compress or ice pack to the outside of your cheek near the broken bracket brace to numb the area and reduce swelling until you can see your emergency dentist.
  • Avoid touching: While touching or adjusting the broken bracket may be tempting, avoid doing so to prevent further discomfort or damage. Manipulating the bracket can worsen the problem and make it more difficult to repair. 
  • Avoid crunchy foods: Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could exacerbate the problem or dislodge other components of your braces. Eat soft and easy-to-chew foods to minimize stress on your braces until they can be repaired.

Step 4: Book an Appointment

Call your dental office immediately to book the first available appointment. While a broken bracket may seem like a minor inconvenience, it can turn out to be a major problem if left untreated. You can explain the direness of the situation over the phone and try to get a same-day or walk-in appointment if possible.

When Does a Broken Bracket Brace Qualify as an Immediate Dental Emergency?

Severe Discomfort or Pain

If the broken bracket is causing significant discomfort or pain, especially if it’s accompanied by swelling or bleeding, it may be considered a dental emergency. 

Damage to Soft Tissues

A broken bracket causing irritation or injury to the soft tissues of your mouth, such as the gums, cheeks, or tongue, should be addressed promptly. Continued friction or abrasion from the broken bracket can cause even more discomfort and potential complications. 

Dislodged or Loose Bracket

If the bracket has become completely dislodged or quite loose, there is a risk that the progress of your entire treatment may be compromised. In such cases, seeking prompt assistance from a dentist is essential to reposition or replace the bracket and prevent further disruption to your treatment plan.

Difficulty Eating or Speaking

If the broken bracket interferes with your ability to eat, chew, or speak comfortably, it definitely constitutes a dental emergency. In such a case, you will require immediate attention so that the emergency dentist can restore functionality and alleviate discomfort.


When faced with a broken bracket brace, knowing what steps to take until you see an emergency dentist can help you minimize discomfort and ensure that your braces treatment stays on track. 

Timely intervention can help maintain the health and effectiveness of your braces, so don’t hesitate to seek assistance from a dental professional if you encounter any issues. 

Contact City of Lights Dental for Your Broken Bracket Braces

Are you dealing with a broken bracket brace and in need of urgent care? 

Look no further than City of Lights Dental

We understand the importance of prompt and effective dental treatment when it comes to orthodontic emergencies. That is why we can offer you emergency dental treatment and expert diagnosis using state-of-the-art facilities. 

Contact us and schedule your emergency appointment today to get back on track to a healthy, beautiful smile. 

Want to explore your dental implant options and understand your insurance coverage?

Book an appointment online with City of Lights Dental in Aurora, IL, today! New patients can call us at (630) 216-4019, while current patients can call at (630) 892-7087.


Yes, a broken bracket can be considered a dental emergency, especially if it causes significant discomfort, affects the functionality of your braces, or compromises the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment. Seek prompt assistance from a dental professional who can assess how bad the break is and determine the appropriate course of action.

It’s best not to delay treatment for a broken bracket brace, as extended exposure can lead to further complications and hinder the progress of your orthodontic treatment. While you may be able to manage temporarily with home remedies such as orthodontic wax or over-the-counter pain relievers, make sure that you schedule an appointment with your dentist or orthodontist as soon as possible for proper evaluation and repair.

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