303 Smiles

How to Secure a Loose or Broken Bracket in 3 Easy Steps

How to Secure a Loose or Broken Bracket in 3 Easy Steps


Hi everyone, it’s Dr. Straffon at 303 Smiles here in Denver, CO, and I’m here to share a few tips on what to do when you have a broken bracket. Most patients will experience a loose or broken bracket at some point during their braces treatment and the important thing is knowing how to secure it comfortably until we can help you and attend to you at the office.

Using this model, you can see that we broke off a bracket and as a result, it tends to wobble back and forth and slide around a bit. This is the most common broken bracket scenario that we see with our patients. The good news is that it isn’t going to do any actual damage. It is likely to cause some discomfort until you can get into the office, so here is what you can do to alleviate that.

Step 1: Preparing the Dental Wax

When you first began your braces treatment, you were given some dental wax. It’s also called paraffin wax and if you’ve run out of the supply we gave you, don’t worry. You can pick it up at any grocery store or pharmacy. It’s very easy to use and the process here is similar to what you would do if you have a pokey wire.

The first thing you need to do is break off a piece of wax that is long enough to cover at least three of the brackets – one in front of the broken bracket and one behind it. This will provide an ‘anchor’ to help keep the broken bracket in place. An inch of wax should do it.

Next, you’re going to take that piece of wax and roll it with your fingers to make it soft and malleable and narrow enough to fit below the brackets. I call it ‘making my sausage’.

Step 2: Dry the Affected Area

The next step – and this is an important one – is to dry off the area where you will be applying the wax because if the area is wet, the wax won’t stay as well. You want to use a paper towel for this part. Don’t use a cloth towel, as it can get caught on your braces and actually cause more brackets to break.

With your paper towel, make sure to dry the brackets, archwire, and as much of the tooth surface of the affected area as possible.

Step 3: Apply the Dental Wax

Now that your dental wax is prepped and you’ve dried off the brackets you’ll be covering, you’re ready to apply the wax. To do this, take your ‘sausage’ of wax and tuck it below the brackets and against the teeth. Then, starting from the bottom, you’re going to roll the wax up over the brackets.

At this point, the three brackets should be covered by the dental wax. Next, you’re going to use your fingers to press the wax securely in place and smooth it to make it as comfortable as possible. Depending on how quickly you’re able to get into our office, you may need to replace the wax and repeat the above steps to re-apply new wax.

And that’s all there is to it! Your broken bracket is now secure and as comfortable as possible until we can get you in here to get it fixed. If you have any questions please call our office at 303.758.3414 and we’ll be happy to help you.


Dr. Derek Straffon and the team at 303 Smiles proudly serve the Denver community and surrounding areas, including Englewood, Greenwood, and Littleton, Colorado. We offer a range of treatment options including several types of braces as well as Invisalign clear aligners.