Why do brackets (braces) fall off?
By Dr. Michael Minars
Braces are glued to the teeth using orthodontic cement. Orthodontic cement is not permanent. If it was permanent we would never be able to remove it from the teeth when we are finished. The cement is strong enough to withstand regular forces from chewing, talking, and biting throughout treatment.
It is important that you understand that the #1 reason brackets fall off is because the patient is not following our instructions. Orthodontic cement is not strong enough to withstand forces created by sticky foods, hard foods, finger nails, pencils, pens, ect. If your child eats these problem foods the brackets WILL fall off. By following our instructions you will not only decrease the number of loose and broken braces, but also shorten treatment time.
If the bracket falls off within 24 hours of being put on, there may have been contamination during the process of cementing the bracket to the teeth. During the procedure we try our best to keep the teeth away from saliva, but sometimes it is extremely difficult. Some kids salivate more than others. Some kids cough/sneeze during the procedure and accidentally contaminate the cement. We all know that some of our children have a hard time sitting still. This movement also increases the risk of contamination.
Another way that contamination can occur is when the orthodontist tries to place a bracket close to the gums. Sometimes he does this on a partially erupted tooth to speed up the eruption process. This can decrease your child’s treatment time by several months. Unfortunately, the gums secrete saliva which contaminate the cement. When the bracket is placed near the near the gums, there is an increased risk of contamination. We are sorry if this occasionally causes you an inconvenience!
If for any reason a bracket falls off or is loose, let us know! Call us during regular business hours so that we can schedule extra time to put it back on. We do not do this at 3-5 in the afternoon when we are most busy. You will need a longer appointment either in the morning or early afternoon.
Thank you for taking the time to educate yourself!
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