Orthodontic Emergency in El Cerrito

Hello, neighbor! The team at Estes Orthodontics wishes to provide all our patients in El Cerrito, CA, with the best care possible. We are all motivated to provide you with the very best in specialized orthodontic care. This, of course, includes emergency orthodontic care whenever your appliance is at risk of getting damaged. Anyone already undergoing orthodontic care with us can trust our team to be there when they need it most.

What Are Some Common Orthodontic Emergencies?

All patients who wear braces and clear aligners, such as Spark clear aligner trays, are at risk of suffering some of the same emergencies. We’d like to remind you that orthodontic emergencies are nothing more than minor inconveniences and should pose no threat to your dental health or become a life-threatening problem.

Still, these situations can result in unwanted delays in your specialized care. As such, we want to ensure you have all the help you require to avoid problems with your treatment.


Every patient will have to deal with some level of discomfort when they first get their orthodontic appliance. Patients with traditional metal braces will notice some tenderness and increased tooth sensitivity to cold and heat. Other patients who choose Spark clear aligners will also feel some discomfort as their teeth begin to move.

This feeling of discomfort is unavoidable, but you can get some over-the-counter painkillers to help you for the first few days with braces or aligners. If, however, you feel a lot of pain past the third day, get in touch with us or go to an ER to receive more help.

Loose Brackets

Another recurring situation is whenever patients with conventional metal braces eat something that we warned could damage their appliance. Popcorn, apples, other hard fruits, and more foods can break down into little pieces that can peel away a bracket.

The bonding agents we use in orthodontics are very strong, but with a little bit of physics, any little food debris piece can act as a lever and defeat the bonding agent.

Loose brackets are a risk because the wire is no longer in place, and this orthodontic emergency ends up disrupting the planned movements from your treatment plan.

Poking Wires

Every now and then, the end bits of the archwire may become loose and sting the inside of your cheeks. Poking wires are not necessarily bad for your treatment’s efficiency, but they are undeniably uncomfortable.

Please be careful about this situation to avoid damage inside your mouth, and let your orthodontist know so you can find a permanent solution.

Lost Spark Clear Aligners

Oh, boy. Where do we begin with this one? You have to carry your case with you at all times to avoid problems. Usually, patients take off their clear aligner trays during mealtimes or to clean their teeth and keep up with their oral hygiene routines.

But then, some patients forget to put away their aligners inside the protective case. Then, the inevitable happens, and the aligners that you just left to a side will either get lost or thrown in the bin with the rest of the trash.

Tooth Extraction In Orthodontics

Get in Touch With an Orthodontist in El Cerrito

Dr. Estes en her team are ready to help their patients coming from El Cerrito with their orthodontic emergencies. Any patients who have already started their treatment with us should know that we can help them overcome any problems with their orthodontic appliance and ensures their progress continues on track.

Get your smile with us and set an appointment to receive all the help you require.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an orthodontic emergency?

An orthodontic emergency is any such situation where you are at risk of damaging your orthodontic appliance. These situations are not really life-threatening but will still require acting fast to manage any discomfort and prevent additional damage. Make sure you contact your current orthodontist for proper help.

How do you handle orthodontic emergencies?

The best thing to do is set your expectations right away. Orthodontic emergencies are not going to put your life at risk but can become a source of real discomfort. Please remember to call your orthodontist to let them know about the situation and get more detailed instructions on how to proceed.

What constitutes an orthodontic emergency?

Several situations count as an orthodontic emergency. One such situation is having a loose bracket. A close runner-up, because of how often we see it, is a poking wire. Both situations demonstrate your orthodontic appliance has suffered some damage and requires professional attention to prevent any additional complications, such as treatment delays.

What qualifies as an orthodontic emergency?

Unlike general dental emergencies, orthodontic emergencies are situations marked by some discomfort and minor inconveniences to your orthodontic care. These situations are not life-threatening, and you won’t need immediate care at an ER, but you will have to pay close attention and avoid any additional complications. Please get in touch with your orthodontist to know what to do depending on your specific circumstances and how early you can get a professional solution.

What is the most common orthodontic emergency?

Depending on the type of orthodontic appliance you use, you might suffer one or another of these situations. Users with traditional metal braces will face loose brackets if they eat foods or snacks they’re not supposed to. Then, there are patients with Invisalign clear aligners. If they don’t have their protective case, they might lose their trays during mealtimes. Please be careful in either situation.

How to prepare for an ortho emergency

You should get in contact with your orthodontist to know more about what you should keep handy in case of an orthodontic emergency. Many patients like to use orthodontic wax to prevent mouth sores or keep things in place. The best tip we can offer is that you don’t panic, as most of these situations have DIY quick fixes, and you can coordinate a permanent solution with your orthodontist pretty easily.

Is a bracket coming off an orthodontic emergency?

While this won’t pose any threats to you, it’s a delicate situation that requires care from your orthodontist, as it can delay your treatment. Besides, you’ll want to ensure the bracket doesn’t pop off entirely, as it could eventually become a choking hazard.

How do I schedule my next appointment?

If you want to set up an appointment with the best orthodontist El Cerrito residents have available, you can give us a phone call or click on the button above. We’ll gladly accommodate a time that works best for you.

Please contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an orthodontic evaluation. If needed, early treatment now will give your child a healthy, beautiful smile for the future.

Dr. Estes and her team are committed to ensuring each patient and their families receive excellent care using state-of-the-art treatment options.