There was a question on one of the Facebook groups about how to avoid breakage when trimming distal ends. I wanted to share my response in the hopes that it helps you and your team:
I teach the chairsides to put the pliers on the wire but don’t close down very hard then slide the pliers mesially until they touch the bracket. Once they touch the distal of the bracket with the plier, I have them move just a bit distal and squeeze. Don’t rotate don’t shake don’t do anything but squeeze. It’s important that they grip the plier on the ends of the handles so they get maximum leverage and maximum cutting force from the tool. You will need to show them how that works and how much easier it is to cut when you hold the pliers by the end of the handles. You have to have sharp pliers also.
Also, I’ve found that the more breakage you get and the more you worry about it… the more breakage you get. It’s exponentially worse if the doctor gets visibly upset with the chairsides when a bracket breaks. What I mean is the assistants will get so nervous that they will make more mistakes the bigger a deal you make about breakage. Fixing a broken bracket, even a 7 bracket, just isn’t that big a deal. It only takes a few seconds. And if you think it is a big deal, then I suggest you fake it and act like it’s not if you want less breakage in your practice. I often say to assistants when something happens, “I can lie to you and tell you that I’ve never done that if you want”. We have all done it. Stuff happens. It’s no big deal so stop making it into one and have fun making people smile instead.