If you’re new to braces, this may be your first time dealing with a bent braces wire. Many braces components can break or poke, but what happens when the main arch wire bends?
The most important thing to remember is that leaving the wire as it is can cause unwanted tooth movement. Bent brace wires can also cause cheek discomfort and dig into your gums.
It’s best to take action as soon as possible, whether you do it yourself at home, or get help from your orthodontist. In this article, I’ll show you exactly how.
How to Fix a Bent Braces Wire at Home
Orthodontic wires typically bend when you eat something hard or sticky. This can also happen if the wire is too long between braces, and thus easy to displace.
If you notice a bend in your arch wires, it’s important to call your orthodontist right away to let them know. Still, there are certain things you can do yourself, at home.
What are the risks of a Bent Braces Wire?
Whenever you’re dealing with a distorted wire, it’s important to call your orthodontist right away to get it fixed, or at least ask for advice. While it’s not a huge emergency, a bent wire can cause some issues with your bite:
When to go to the orthodontist’s office
If you notice bent braces wire from eating, you may be wondering whether you should wait or call your orthodontist. The answer is simple: call your orthodontist either way.
That being said, you can expect one of these 3 scenarios:
Solution: You can wait until your next orthodontist appointment.
Solution: Call your orthodontist and set up an emergency appointment. If that’s not possible, see this article on poking wires and try to trim the end of the wire yourself.
Solution: Call your orthodontist and see them within a few days. They will change the damaged wire with a new one.
How to prevent wires from bending again
When you have braces, it’s important to be mindful of what you eat to prevent a bent wire from eating. Certain foods can put too much pressure on your braces and cause the wire to bend or break. Here are some tips to prevent a bent wire from eating:
Choose your meals wisely
Most patients think hard crunchy foods are bad for braces and cause brackets to come off, but they can be equally harmful for your wires. A bent wire will never completely recover back into shape and it will put the wrong kind of pressure on your teeth for weeks.
Here’s a reminder of some of the foods to avoid:
|Foods to Avoid||Foods to Choose|
|Hard candy||Cooked vegetables|
|Popcorn||Soft meat / deli meat|
|Corn on the cob||Mashed potatoes|
Cut Food into Small Pieces
If you do want to eat harder foods, such as apples or raw carrots, cut them into smaller pieces first. This will make them easier to chew and reduce the risk of a bent wire.
Use Caution When Eating
When you eat, be mindful of your braces and take your time. If you know you have a section where the wire is longer and more flimsy, try to chew on the other side. This is easier said than done, but you need to make a habit of chewing mindfully.
Wear a Mouthguard When Playing Sports
If you play sports, wear a mouthguard to protect your braces from impact. A mouthguard can also prevent a bent wire if you accidentally get hit in the mouth.
A bent wire won’t harm your braces in the short term, but it can cause some issues and add a few weeks to your treatment time if left unchecked. The best thing you can do is check your braces and wires regularly and alert your orthodontist’s office if you see any changes.
Whether you’re new to braces or a braces veteran, taking care of your teeth (and your health) during orthodontic treatment is crucial. That’s why I’ve put together a list of orthodontist-recommended tools that will make caring for your braces a breeze: