March 12, 2020
There is no doubt times are changing. As the CDC continues to encourage social distancing and more local governments are enacting “safer-at-home” orders, life is starting to look quite different. This may leave you wondering where that leaves your orthodontic treatment or if you can even continue on. The good news is you don’t have to worry! There’s a multitude of ways for maintaining orthodontic treatment at home while keeping in touch with Dr. Dudley.
With today’s technology along with a few simple habits, you can keep your smile on track from home! Whether you’re currently undergoing braces treatment or wearing Invisalign aligners, you can keep working towards the smile you’ve always dreamed, while still practicing social distancing. We’ve put together a guide on how you can take quality care of your smile while helping slow the spread of COVID-19, no matter what type of treatment you’re pursuing! Keep reading below to find out more.
If you’re wearing Invisalign aligners, you can simply proceed with treatment as usual! If you’re approaching the end of an aligner series, and don’t have the next one, don’t worry. If this happens, wear the most recent aligner in the series for 15-18 hours a day. It’s crucial that you don’t stop wearing your aligners, as this can drastically slow your progress, and even cause your teeth to move back to their original position in your mouth. Because of this, if you do not have more aligners, continue to wear the last aligner you have until our office reopens.
At Dudley smiles, we know accidents happen, and aligners may get lost or broken. If this happens while our office is closed, simply return to the previous aligner in the series and continue to wear that one until your next in-office visit. You should also continue to wear any elastics as directed by Dr. Dudley. If you run out, that’s no problem. Just get in touch with a member of the team and we’ll be happy to mail you more!
Orthodontic treatment is a big investment in your health and we know you want to do everything possible to protect that investment. That’s why it’s more important than ever to follow the guidelines put in place by Dr. Dudley at the onset of your treatment. When you’re undergoing braces treatment, any deviation from your plan can lead to problems down the road. Continue wearing any elastics as directed by Dr. Dudley to keep your teeth moving in along as planned. If you run out, just let us know and we’ll be happy to mail you more!
If you experience any kind of pain or discomfort related to your orthodontic treatment, we’re here to help! If you have any wires sticking out, you can use a pair of small cuticle scissors to trim the end. Then, you can place a small amount of orthodontic wax on the end of the wire to relieve any pain. Additionally, if you find you have a loose bracket, don’t worry! Just let us know and once our office is reopened, Dr. Dudley will see you right away. Until then, however, you can try gently sliding the bracket back to the center of the tooth. Be sure to avoid all sticky and chewy foods until your next in-office visit!
If you’re in the final stages of your treatment, it’s very important that you stay on track! Wearing your retainers as directed by Dr. Dudley will give you the long lasting results you desire and protect your smile investment. If you lose or break a retainer, just let us know! We can set up a virtual appointment to discuss your options and figure out what works best for you. Be sure to keep your retainer especially clean during this time. Plaque and bacteria from your teeth can build up in your retainer, which can lead to oral health issues. By keeping your retainer clean, you can stop any buildup and protect the overall health of your teeth and gums. Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before handling any orthodontic equipment.
General Oral Health
The biggest factor in taking care of your smile while staying home is the most simple: keeping up your daily oral care routine. Fixed surface appliances like braces add more area for plaque to build up. If you have access to an electric toothbrush, they are great for removing stubborn plaque! A water flosser is also a great tool to have at home, especially while keeping up your treatment in the time of social distancing. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day and floss every night before bed, to best support your smile progress! By taking good care of your mouth, you’re taking care of your whole body.
As our offices are closed, it’s more important than ever to stay away from any and all restricted foods! By doing so, you can avoid any preventable accidents, saving a trip to the office. We want to do everything possible to keep your treatment going smoothly during this uncertain time. Avoid any foods that are sticky, hard, or crunchy. You may also want to consider cutting food into smaller bite-sized pieces or even steaming it to make it easier on your braces. Keep in mind this won’t last forever. Doing what’s necessary now will save more work in the future!
If you have any kind of emergency, we’re here to help! While our office may be closed, we’ll remain available by phone and email to answer any questions you may have. Additionally, if you have any serious issues that can’t be addressed by virtual consultation, we can schedule an emergency appointment in our office with minimal staff present. Your health and safety is our top priority! We want to help you achieve the smile of your dreams while ensuring the health of you, your family, and our team.
Staying home doesn’t have to set back your smile progress! Follow these guidelines and you’ll have the smile you deserve, without leaving the comfort of your home.