Breakage of braces or other orthodontic appliances during treatment can be an unfortunate and unnecessary source of aggravation and cost. The braces are attached to the teeth in such a way as to permit use over the course of a few years, yet at the same time, allow removal without harming the enamel. Therefore, “super glue” is not a good alternative! The balance between bond strength of the braces and ease of removal when the treatment is complete necessitates cooperation from the patient during treatment. That is, diet modification and a change in how food is eaten are critical to preventing breakage.
The cost of breakage may not be entirely monetary. Patients who repeatedly break braces and appliances may be charged additionally by their orthodontist. However, treatment that has repeated broken appliances will take longer, and the results may end less than ideal. Every time a bracket comes off a tooth, that tooth is no longer functioning as a part of the arch. This will tend to slow the progress of the treatment if it happens on a regular basis.
The best way to avoid breakage during treatment is to follow these instructions:
Sports and accidents tend to be additional sources of appliance and braces breakage. Hockey, football, boxing, or any other contact sport runs the risk of damage to the braces, especially if a mouth guard is not worn. Sports such as basketball and soccer, where mouth guard use is generally not mandated by schools, can have high contact situations and may have instances where a bracket could come loose. More importantly, as discussed in the emergency section later, mouth guard use in these situations is highly recommended to protect the teeth.