During your orthodontic treatment, especially the first few months, we commonly see poking wires and broken brackets. Although it is not something to be too alarmed, we want you to call our office and make an appointment for Drs. Vinh and Kim to check. Because our focus is on getting you comfortable first, we will clip any poking wires or remove broken brackets. If it can wait until the next visit (judged by our doctors), we often repair any broken brackets in the subsequent appointment. Any time brackets break, please save them and bring them to your appointment!

Office policy regarding poking wire & broken brackets:

If a band or bracket comes loose, please call and let us know, as it is not always possible to repair appliances at your regular appointment without prior warning. As a general office policy, we do not take any walk-in appointments; if you are experiencing pain or discomfort that is not manageable with orthodontic wax, please call us for a quick same-day “comfort appointment.” We will do our best to get you comfortable as quickly as possible.

Reasons why wires poke:

  • Wire is sliding to one side
  • As crowded teeth are straightening, it is common for the excess wire to be pushed out in the back. This is a very common occurrence.

Reasons why brackets break:

  • Poor food choices – eating chewy, hard food. Remember, the glue we use to bond your brackets is not meant to be permanent. So if you aren’t careful, brackets will break!
  • Nighttime teeth grinding or clinching – some people grind their teeth at night. If frequent breakage happens and you know you haven’t made bad food choices, then we may have to prop your bite open to protect the brackets from breaking.
  • Crowns or large fillings – if you have a crown or a large filling on your tooth surface, the adhesive for brackets doesn’t stay strong. Our doctors may choose to use a different material to bond a bracket if there is a repeated breakage.