If you are sampling some foreign cuisine while holidaying abroad and one of your brace brackets pops off, don't panic. A loose bracket will not severely impede the movement of your teeth. As long as the bracket has not broken off along with the wire it is attached to, you can probably wait until you get back before having your own orthodontist reattach it.

While you enjoy your holiday, however, keep the following things in mind to ensure you don't do anything to make the problem worse:

Don't Attempt to Reattach the Bracket

It is important that you do not try to glue the bracket back to your tooth for two main reasons. The first is that using superglue to reattach the bracket may only result in your tooth being damaged when your orthodontist comes to remove it later. Secondly, and more importantly, you are not an orthodontist. Orthodontists study for years to learn the intricacies of braces.

Bracket placement is not something that can be done by just anyone. Correct bracket placement is crucial to achieving the targets you and your orthodontist set from the beginning. If you were to reattach your bracket in the wrong position, you could undo all the good work your orthodontist has done up to this point. This is also the reason that another orthodontist will be extremely reluctant to reattach the bracket for you.

Watch What You Eat

You should also be wary of eating anything sticky or tough until you have the bracket reattached. The loose bracket could cause other brackets and even the wire itself to break free if it becomes lodged within a mouthful of sticky food.

Use Dental Wax to Ease Irritation

If the loose bracket is irritating your gums, lips, or cheeks, apply some dental wax to it to protect the tissues of your mouth. However, if the bracket is causing you considerable discomfort, then you may need to remove it. In this case, call your orthodontist. They will be able to talk you through the safe removal of the loose bracket. If you are unable to reach your orthodontist, you could ask a local orthodontist to remove the bracket for you.

Many orthodontists are sympathetic to the challenges faced by brace wearers and so you may even be able to have it removed by a local orthodontist free of charge.

A loose brace bracket is not an emergency. However, do inform your orthodontist of the mishap before returning home if you won't be coming back for several weeks. In extreme cases, your orthodontist may be able to speak with a local orthodontist so that they can reattach the bracket but this is rare. You should be able to leave the bracket as it is until you return home. 

Contact a dentist office near you for more information and assistance.