Can Dental Braces Ever Fail?

14 December 2020
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Dental braces are a tried and true way to correct crooked teeth, an underbite, an overbite, improperly spaced teeth, and general dental misalignment. An orthodontist will fit the braces, periodically inspect and adjust them, and it's largely a case of waiting for the treatment to be over. But is it really that simple? Is it possible for braces to fail in what they're supposed to do? While it is possible, it's very easy (and certainly in your best interests) to avoid this potential failure.

Manufacturing and Placement

Although unlikely, it's possible for braces to fail due to manufacturing and placement error (as in, you received braces that didn't meet your required measurements). This is becoming less and less likely to cause braces failure since most contemporary braces are constructed and installed based upon 3D dental modeling. This involves a 3D scan that creates a precise digital model of your teeth and gingival tissues, removing any margin for error. The scan is generally accompanied by an x-ray to assess your underlying jaw bone structure. While it's technically possible for braces to fail due to placement error, most instances of failure are caused by the user.

Aftercare Instructions

It's not as though someone with braces will take deliberate action to make them fail, and failure is usually caused by inaction or ignoring specific aftercare instructions. Any dietary instructions are precise and are given for a legitimate reason. For example, you will be advised to avoid hard and chewy foods. This is because such food can easily leave remnants in the various components of your braces, which are difficult to remove due to the very presence of your braces. Furthermore, the force of chewing these foods can physically affect your braces, with the archwire being particularly susceptible to becoming bent and distorted. Compromised braces are far less efficient.


This leads to the problem of inaction, where damaged portions of your braces are not immediately treated and are only spotted by your dentist or orthodontist at your next checkup. This covers those parts of braces that are more prone to damage, such as your archwire and elastic ligatures. These are moving components of a complex dental process that needs all components in peak condition in order to operate efficiently.

Basically, you need to be mindful that your braces respond to how well you treat them, so you need to be watchful that you take steps to avoid damage, and that any suspected damage is quickly repaired. For more information, reach out to a local orthodontic office, like Poulson Orthodontics.