Since the coronavirus crisis began, many have been left with questions about taking care of their braces or appliances during this time. The American Association of Orthodontists provides a few tips for managing orthodontic issues at home; however, it’s always important to contact us if you are experiencing pain or believe you may require emergency care. Our doctors can help determine whether you have an urgent need and provide guidance on the next steps.
In the meantime, here are a few tips for maintaining proper orthodontic care during this extraordinary time.
Please be mindful of your diet when wearing appliances and braces. Avoid sticky, hard foods that increase the likelihood of something breaking. Colgate.com offers some helpful tips on what foods you can eat, and what to avoid, while wearing braces.
Although we are not able to see you for a regular adjustment, help ensure your treatment time isn’t extended by continuing to wear your elastics daily. If you are running low on elastic bands, call us and leave the patient’s full name and phone number. Someone will reach out to you.
Wax is the first line of defense for minor discomforts such as wire pokes caused by orthodontic appliances. If you’ve used all of the wax you received when you began treatment, it is available for purchase at most drugstores.
Don’t worry about a broken bracket impacting your treatment time; we can correct this once our operating hours return to normal. If a broken bracket is bothering your cheek, wax is the first line of defense. OrthoDots®️ CLEAR can also help stabilize a broken bracket. If this is unsuccessful, please contact us for guidance. Please note that, based on guidance from the ADA, we will not be fixing broken brackets at this time.
Lost or Broken Retainers
Please be extra careful with your retainers. Remember not to remove your retainers from the front since this can cause a crack. Do not leave retainers unattended around animals (dogs love retainers). Lost or damaged retainers do not fall under the definition of “emergency care” in the ADA’s recommendations, so we cannot guarantee that we can replace them at this time.
Don’t forget to brush at least three times per day, floss, and use a fluoride toothpaste or mouth rinse.
Please continue to wear your aligners as instructed, and take extra care in cleaning your trays. You may also want to purchase a denture cleaner to help in the coming weeks; just soak trays for 15 minutes (not overnight — they should be in your mouth!), then clean with a brush.
If you have multiple aligners, please wear each one for 2-3 weeks at a time. This should help extend your trays for as long as possible. If you are out of aligners, please keep your last tray in full-time until your next appointment. If you have additional questions about your aligners, please contact us.
If You Have a Dental Emergency
Colgate.com offers a number of reasons why it is always best to contact a dental professional rather than visit your local emergency room. These days, it is especially important that we keep local hospital beds free for COVID-19 patients. Remember, if you are experiencing pain related to your braces or appliances, or otherwise believe you need emergency dental care, please contact us first.