What Kind of Glue Is Used for Braces?

If you’re researching what kind of glue is used for braces, you’re probably in one of two situations. You have a broken bracket you need fixed or you have excess glue on your teeth.

Either way, there’s not much you can do on your own at home. You can’t use dental glue at home for a broken bracket and you most likely won’t be able to remove traces of glue on your teeth.

The adhesive used for braces is very strong. It’s actually a specialized dental cement that creates the perfect bridge between your enamel and your brackets. This bonding cement ensures your braces components stay put and your teeth are unharmed when it’s time to take them off.

If you’re curious about how the braces glue works, there are several steps involved in the process of getting braces. Instead of a simple glue, we use multiple layers of different materials to make everything stick together.

What type of glue is used for braces?

Braces help teeth move through bone, and so they are constantly under a lot of pressure. That’s why the glue that secures them on top of the teeth needs to be very strong but also flexible.

The glue we use for braces is designed for oral use, but it’s not just any dental glue. Improvements have been made to ensure this glue holds on for years, but it’s also easy to remove once the treatment is complete.

It’s possible to use cavity filling glue to secure brackets, but it’s not as powerful as orthodontic glue.

Braces Glue Explained

The bonding process in orthodontics involves attaching traditional braces to teeth using adhesives. We use multiple layers of different liquids and materials to make everything stick together. Here are the steps:

First, the teeth are cleaned and dried – this is key, all these chemicals will not stick to wet teeth or plaque, and you’ll soon see why.

An etching gel is applied to the surface of the teeth to create small pores and roughen the surface. This helps the orthodontic adhesive bond to the tooth surface.

If saliva gets on your teeth at this point, it contaminates the enamel and fills up the pores that had been opened by the etching gel.

After the gel sits for a while, we rinse and dry the teeth again – you might feel a sour taste in your mouth during this process.

Next, we apply a varnish-like liquid called bonding agent. It smells a bit like nail polish, and its purpose is to create a chemical bond between the pores inside the enamel and the glue on the bracket.

Some orthodontists prefer to use a 2-in-1 product that contains both etching gel and bonding agent. This significantly shortens the process and doesn’t need rinsing.

The adhesive (or glue), typically a resin-based material, is then applied to the bracket. Next, the bracket is carefully positioned on the tooth.

Any excess glue is removed around the bracket. The orthodontic adhesive is then cured, usually with a special UV light, to harden it.

The chemical reaction between all these adhesives after the light cure has been applied creates a strong bond.

Adhesives and Cements Used for Braces

When it comes to braces, there are a few different types of adhesives and cements that can be used. Here’s a rundown:

  • Composite resin: This is the go-to adhesive for most braces situations. It’s strong, it’s durable, and it’s reliable throughout your orthodontic journey.
  • Glass ionomer cement: This is usually used for attaching metal bands or appliances like expanders. Bonus points for glass ionomers: they actually release fluoride, which helps keep your teeth strong and healthy.
  • Dental cement (modified resin): Used occasionally for lingual braces or lingual retainers. This cement is a bit less rigid than the others, allowing for more subtle adjustments as your teeth move into place.

That’s about it, folks! These are the main players in the world of braces adhesion. They all work hard to give you a solid grip and ensure that your braces stay on the entire time.

Is There a Way to Remove Braces Glue at Home?

Alright, let’s be honest – we know you’re curious about whether you can remove braces glue at home. We get it!

Sometimes, that pesky glue can linger on your teeth even after your braces are taken off. You might feel it while brushing or just running your tongue over your teeth.

But, I’m here to tell you that trying to DIY this process is simply not a good idea.

So, why can’t you remove it at home?

  • The bond between your braces and teeth is incredibly strong, thanks to the glue we used. This is great for keeping your braces in place but not so great for at-home removal attempts.
  • We have special high-speed instruments in our office that are designed to safely and gently remove the glue from your teeth. Not to mention we polish your teeth and make them look pristine! Not something you can do at home!

Keep in mind that it’s not uncommon for a small amount of glue to remain on your teeth after your braces are removed.

Sometimes, traces of glue may not be that visible to your doctor due to bleeding or swollen gums. Many orthodontists schedule a follow-up appointment to take care of it.

Can you Glue braces back on at home?

I know it can be tempting to skip the orthodontist appointment and try to fix your braces at home. But trust me, it’s not a great idea!

Just like you wouldn’t fill a cavity on your own, applying braces glue is a skill that requires precision and expertise.

Even if you somehow managed to get your hands on the right type of dental glue, there are still many things to keep in mind.

So, let me break it down for you in a fun little list:

  • The right dental glue: This is not something you can find at your local store.
  • Brackets placement: Precision is key, and your orthodontist knows how to do this best.
  • Keeping things dry: If your mouth is not dry while bonding braces, the glue won’t stick well.
  • Curing light: You don’t have one of those lying around the house.

Ultimately, you shouldn’t try to put your braces back on at home. Instead, if you have a bracket issue, give your orthodontist a call! They’re always ready for braces emergencies like broken brackets or pokey wires.

Why Does the Braces Glue Constantly Break?

I want to address an issue that can be both annoying and concerning for some of our patients: braces that constantly break.

Some patients are simply careless with their brackets. Others swear they only feed on soups and pureed food and still have their brackets break.

If this is you, I feel for you, and I believe you. For some people, brackets do often break for apparently no reason. Let’s try to understand why this might happen.

1. First off, your eating habits. You may love indulging in some chewy, sticky, or hard foods, which can crack the cement. Your braces might not become loose in that very moment, which is why many patients say that their bracket broke into a piece of soft bread.

2. Brushing too hard is another culprit. I know, you want to keep your teeth sparkling clean. But pressing too hard on your braces while brushing can actually weaken the glue and cause it to crack. Luckily, electric toothbrushes are smart enough to sense high pressure, so it’s best to invest in one if you haven’t already.

3. You might just have strong jaw muscles. If you feel like you’re following every rule, and still see your brackets become loose when biting into food, your bite may be to blame. People with square jaws and powerful masseter muscles are especially prone to bracket breakage. A little mindfulness might help, but it’s something you need to practice on.

4. Your doctor may accidentally leave some saliva. Or the air spray itself can accidentally spray water – any humidity is bad. This can lead to weak adhesion and eventual glue breakage. It happens to the best of us.

5. Sometimes, it’s not you or your doctor. It’s your teeth. If you have porcelain crowns, silver fillings, plastic crowns, or fluorosis, they all can cause issues with bonding. This is because the enamel or crown surface are too smooth and hard, causing the braces to fall off.

I hope this helps clear up some of your concerns! Remember, regardless of who or what caused your bracket to come off, your orthodontist will gladly fix the issue as soon as possible.

Is Braces Glue Toxic? What If You Swallow It?

If you’re a health-conscious person who cares about the safety of your braces glue, don’t worry! All dental materials, including the so-called “braces glue,” are completely biocompatible. I

In fact, braces adhesive is the same material used for cavity fillings!

Now, what if you accidentally swallow some of this glue? Your stomach will handle it just like any other small, non-digestible item.

Patients rarely end up swallowing glue, though, unless it comes in the form of a filling! Usually, if you break a bracket, the glue will either stay on your teeth, or it will come off with your bracket.

If you happen to swallow a bracket, that’s fine too, it will get eliminated safely.

Once you’re at the orthodontist’s office, they will remove the glue by pulverizing it into dust and rinsing it out of your mouth.


So, there you have it! A short guide on all you need to know about braces glue as a patient.

Modern dental adhesives are a marvelous invention. They have revolutionized dentistry and changed the way we work and bond brackets.

And while it might seem like a fascinating subject for some of you, I urge you not to try using dental glue at home! That’s what your orthodontist is there for.

Whether you’re new to braces or a braces veteran, taking care of your teeth and gums 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:

  • An awesome mid-range electric toothbrush. Rotating electric brushes are much more effective, in my opinion, than sonic ones. You can keep your teeth white by using whitening replacement heads.
  • A countertop water flosser to blast out food debris between teeth. I know handheld models are tempting, but you’ll need a lot of water. You can almost replace flossing with this and your gums will be healthier.
  • Braces accessories to get into all the nooks and crannies: straight or angled interdental brushes, floss threaders, orthodontic wax or silicone. For pain management, have gel ice packs handy, Orajel, and Mouth Magic (a cool soothing solution for mouth sores).
  • For clear aligner patients, a tool like PUL helps both remove and seat your aligner or retainer. Don’t forget to use a cleaning product like crystals to keep your trays fresh and hygienic.

Looking for advice, a second opinion & support on your braces journey? Join the Facebook group!

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