Even if you try your hardest to care for your braces or aligners properly, accidents can happen. A wire may break, a bracket may become loose or an aligner may become damaged. Dr. Peter Lee and our team are here for you in the case of an orthodontic emergency in San Francisco, California. We encourage you to contact OPDSF Orthodontics at (415) 681-8500 to learn more and to schedule a visit with our orthodontist.
What should I do if I experience an orthodontic emergency?
If you experience an orthodontic emergency, such as a broken or lost appliance, we urge you to call our office as soon as possible. Even if you have a regular appointment scheduled soon, please call us immediately to let us know that you need an appliance repaired. We will also be able to provide you with any needed instructions on what to do until you can come to our office to see our orthodontist.
Loose Brackets or Bands
If a bracket, band, or wire is loosened, please call our office immediately; the brackets may need to be refitted. If you need to cut a wire in case of emergency, we recommend using fingernail clippers that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. You may also need to slide a bracket off at night or over a weekend before you are able to come to our office. Please call our office on the next business day so we can schedule an appointment for you.
Poking Wires or Wire Irritations
If the wire is irritating your cheeks or gums, you can move the wire away from the irritated area by using a cotton swab or eraser. If you cannot move the wire, cover the end of it with a small piece of cotton or wax to relieve irritation. If the wire is still painful, you can cut it with nail clippers or scissors that have been washed and sterilized in alcohol. If you need to cut the wire, or if you cannot resolve the wire irritation, call us for an appointment.
Many patients lose a separator over the course of their treatment. If you lose a separator, call our office to see if it needs to be replaced.
Discomfort with Braces and Orthodontic Treatment
During the first week after your braces are placed, and after routine adjustments, you may feel some soreness or discomfort. This is normal, and you do not need to worry. You may want to take acetaminophen or another non-aspirin pain reliever if your teeth are sore after adjustment appointments. You may also wish to use a warm washcloth or heating pad to reduce soreness in the jaws.