Once you've worn your braces for a little bit, you know the way they should feel when the braces fit with the proper tightness. This should help you notice signs that the braces are starting to loosen. By understanding why they loosen and how to handle it, you'll be prepared for this annoying complication.
Why Braces Loosen
Braces can become loose for a variety of reasons, but the most common reason can be from bad habits that you should have broken before you had your braces put on. For example, you may chew on your pen or bite your fingernails regularly. Chewing on ice cubes is another reason that braces become loose over time.
Certain foods, like hard candy or taffy, can also cause problems if you do not chew them carefully. Accidental facial trauma from playing sports can also cause problems, such as getting hit in the face by a ball.
Solution #1: Pull The Bracket Off
One way to deal with a loose bracket is to pull it off of the braces. You should only do this is both the wire and the elastic have become detached from your tooth. If the bracket is still attached, leave the bracket alone. Since elastic is what helps hold the bracket on your tooth, when the elastic becomes loose from your tooth, the bracket can fall right off. You run the risk of possible choking on the bracket as well. You can take tweezers to gently pull on the bracket to remove it from the tooth and the wire.
Solution #2: Use Orthodontic Wax
Some situations only require the use of orthodontic wax to fix the problem. You can purchase it at a drug store, with it being located in the aisle with all the dental products. In a pinch, you can also use sugar free gum to do the same thing.
Use orthodontic wax to stick the bracket back onto the tooth. If a wire is poking you, wax can be used to cover the tip of the wire so that it is more tolerable. It's also helpful for when you are not comfortable removing the bracket, but parts are hurting the inside of your mouth. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution.
It does not matter why your braces have become loose, but if they do, contact your orthodontist immediately and set up an appointment to have them fixed.