What to Do When You Swallow Your Braces Bracket

Uh-oh – you’ve swallowed your braces bracket and you don’t know what to do! Fortunately, while this is rare, it does happen – but it’s not the end of the world when it does.

Here, we’ll tell you what you should do, including whether or not you should go to the doctor.

How This Happens

Swallowing a brace bracket usually happens when someone is trying to adjust a loose bracket. Doing so without the help of a dentist can be problematic, since you can inadvertently knock the bracket completely loose from your teeth and the wire. From there, it’s pretty easy to accidentally swallow it.

You can also lose a bracket if something happens to your teeth. We’ve seen this in sports when people are being physical and something hits their mouth – and they’re not wearing a mouthguard. (Hint: wear a mouthguard!). You can knock a bracket loose and swallow it without knowing it.

What Happens Next – What Should You Do?

If you do swallow a braces bracket, don’t panic – it’s not as serious as you may believe. (That’s a relief!)

Most of the time, the bracket will pass through your body on its own. Brackets are made of ceramic and titanium, so they won’t be dissolved by the acid in your stomach – you’ll have to pass it. 

Sometimes, though, you may need to see a doctor. When should you seek professional help?

Symptoms that Call for Medical Attention

The main concern is if the bracket becomes lodged in your lung. You’ll know because you’ll have difficulty breathing and you may notice a pain in your chest.

You can also have stomach issues, so if you have an upset stomach or pain in the abdomen, your bracket may be the cause.

In either of these cases, you can go see a doctor to get X-rayed and find out what’s going on. Your doctor can tell you if the bracket needs to be removed (or whatever you swallowed, be it a bracket, a piece of wiring, or a missing crown – whatever isn’t supposed to be in your body!).

Surgery is rarely necessary; only in about 1 percent of cases across the nation. And the surgery is a relatively simple process.

Eventually, you can see your dentist to get the brace bracket replaced.

As dentists in Hoover, we’re equipped to handle these types of emergencies and can consult on any other dental problem you may have. Give us a call at 205-822-8161 if you need help or more information about this or another situation.