Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
What is elective and what is non-elective?
While we tend to think orthodontic care is a pretty life-changing journey that impacts each patient’s life greatly, we recognize that orthodontic care isn’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind currently. We’re currently limiting treatment to non-elective treatment only as we’re helping do our part to slow the progression of the Coronavirus. What does that mean? The American Association of Orthodontists has recently released their guidelines on what procedures are considered non-elective, and which are not.
Non-elective procedures, including those considered to be orthodontic emergencies, are defined as remedying one or more of the following:
- Significant oral pain
- Limited function
- Physically traumatic event yielding the above
Unless any of the above is true, problems like loose brackets and bands or lost or broken retainers or aligners should be considered elective.
What does this mean for me?
Please brush and floss thoroughly and maintain your dental health as normally instructed. Use common sense in avoiding foods that could damage your braces, and please always remember to wash your hands before placing and removing your aligners or elastics.
If you are wearing braces or an appliance
- Keep good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing three times a day.
- Now is an especially good time to avoid forbidden foods to avoid any breakage!
- Your braces will continue to straighten your teeth all day and night throughout this time.
- If you wear elastics, continue to do so as directed.
- Properly wearing your elastics is important because it will continue to correct your bite.
- When our office reopens, we will continue your treatment.
If you are wearing aligners
- Please make sure to keep wearing your current aligners as instructed.
- For best use, bite into your chewie for 10 seconds and work it around your teeth lightly – biting and holding for 10-minutes at a time.
- If you no longer have aligners to continue to your next week, simply reduce your aligner wear to a retainer phase of 10-12 hours per day. (This will ensure that your teeth stay in place and help your aligner last longer.)
- Make sure to use your chewies and bite and hold to seat your aligners in areas where you may see visible space between your tooth and the aligner.
- Keep your aligners clean and avoid all drinks other than water while wearing them.
- When our office reopens, we will create a new digital scan for new aligners.
What should I do if I have a problem during this time?
Keep in mind, many common orthodontic “emergencies” can be managed at home with a pair of cuticle cutters/nail clippers. If you have a wire poking you, a broken bracket, have lost your retainers or aligners, or have any other issues while we are out of the office, don’t worry– just contact us!
I’m waiting to have my braces removed– now what?
We’re so excited to see your new smile too and we get that this delay is a real bummer. While we adhere to hospital level sterilization protocols, unfortunately, the removal of braces causes a production of aerosol particles that potentially contain biological materials. Protecting both our patients and staff is our top priority so we will wait to resume braces removal when it is safe to do so.
Will my upcoming appointment be rescheduled?
Our team is actively reaching out to every patient with an upcoming appointment to customize their course of action moving forward, which in some cases may include a virtual visit with the doctor.
Questions? Contact Us!
We are still right here for you. If you ever have any questions, comments or concerns, we want to answer those for you! Please reach out. Our team is here to serve you! Thank you for your patience and understanding.