UPDATED – 30 April 2020
Dear Friends and Family, Due to these unprecedented and rapidly changing circumstances, we know you might have some questions about the covid-19 pandemic and how it may affect your orthodontic care. Our team has put together this FAQ to help you gain some amount of clarity in this part of your life. We are here to support you and will continue to find new ways to provide you with world-class orthodontic care.
How long will our office be closed?
Unfortunately things are still not good in New Jersey and the governor has extended the the shelter-at-home order indefinitely, with no official date to lift restrictions. We are frequently assessing the situation and will be very transparent with next steps if that changes. Our team will be available to assist patients by phone and email from 9am-5pm Monday – Friday. To help keep our outgoing lines open for our team to handle patient concerns, we ask that you email our team at [email protected], for the fastest response.
Why does the orthodontic office need to close?
Due to nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sweeping recommendations of numerous health and government officials, we must close our doors to all elective procedures for the safety of our community. Elective procedures are defined as any procedure that does not involve treating a medical emergency to preserve life.
How should I proceed if I am wearing braces or an appliance?
Please make sure you keep good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing three times a day. Also remember, DO NOT eat forbidden foods to avoid any breakage. If wearing any elastic continue to do so as directed. Your braces will continue to straighten your teeth all day and night. Proper elastic wear will continue to correct your bite. We will be able to advance your treatment once we reopen.
How should I proceed if I am wearing Invisalign aligners?
Please make sure to keep wearing your active aligners as instructed to continue progressing your treatment. Make sure to use your chewies and bite and hold to seat the aligners in areas where you may see visible space between your tooth and the aligner. For best use, bite into your chewie for 10 seconds and work it around your teeth lightly biting holding for a 10-minute session.
If you no longer have aligners to continue to your next week, it is perfectly fine to reduce your last aligner wear to a retainer phase of 10-12 hours per day to ensure that your teeth stay in position and make your aligner last longer. Keep your aligners clean and avoid all drinks other than water while wearing them.
When our office reopens, we will make a new digital scan for new aligners.
Always remember to wash your hands before placing and removing your aligners or elastics.
What should I do if I am scheduled to start treatment soon?
We are excited for all our patients to take this big step, and look forward to seeing your new smile when it is finished. We are hopeful that this schedule alteration will be short. When this situation has stabilized, we are going be ready for you!
What about getting my braces off?
Although dental care is very safe for patients and providers with standard universal precautions and hospital level sterilization protocols, cleaning teeth and the removal of orthodontic bonding materials produces aerosols that can possibly contain biological material. A deferral of removing braces is a good practice at a time like this. Always brush and floss thoroughly to maintain your dental health as we await the passing of this situation. We will resume removal of braces when we are advised that it is safe to do so.
I have a routine monitoring appointment upcoming (retainer check, growth monitoring, recall examination, or new patient consultation).
These appointments are very important, but by their nature become elective at a time like this. We will maintain all appointment records within our computer system, and will reschedule them appropriately when the community situation returns to normal.
We are told to wash our hands frequently; how should we handle wearing aligners, retainers, elastics, etc?
It is important to continue wearing your aligners and your rubber bands to maintain your treatment progress, or your treatment result if currently wearing retainers. Follow recommendations by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after removing or placing your aligners, retainers, or elastics. These items can also be washed or cleaned in a diluted soap and water solution. An old toothbrush is ideal for this purpose. After cleaning the appliance, rinse thoroughly in cold water to minimize the soapy taste, just like when doing the dishes.
I lost or broke my retainer or aligner. What should I do?
It is always important to wear your retainers after your treatment is complete. Call the office and leave us a voice mail or write us an email, someone will contact you to see how we can proceed.
Will patients be allowed in the office at all? Is there anyone there?
Not at this time. The office will open when the New Jersey governor lifts restrictions, however our team is available to answer all your concerns via phone or email.
I have a poking wire or other irritation that is bothering me. What do I do?
Call us! We will instruct you on the best resolution to the problem. We will try to help you with an easy fix at home. In the event of a true emergency situation involving severe pain or discomfort, this could involve a quick VIP trip to the office for a fix in a private setting where you would be the only patient in the office.
To stay updated on how our office is responding and to maintain a centralized place for resources such as this, we will be updating our website regularly at https://www.theschulhofcenter.com/. Our food and teeth health information is also located on our blog page of our site. Social media will be the fastest place to learn new information from us. Follow us on Instagram @theschulhofcenter and Facebook for updates.
Thank you for your understanding, and we are truly grateful that you have chosen to support our small business. We wish you all good health, and we can’t wait to see you again in person real soon!
Coronavirus FAQ – A Guide for Patients During COVID-19