A pandemic means staying clear of others. Whether we like it or not we have to deal with self-isolation. If we are undergoing medical treatments during a lockdown then we must be on A-game status. There are simple steps to follow for orthodontic treatment during times like this. Your orthodontist will be open for emergency and essential treatment only. In this post, we’ll take you through 3 steps to care for orthodontics during self-solation. Let’s get going.
Braces Treatment During Self-Solation
Your local orthodontist will remain open during self-isolation. Things will not be the same. You may only see the orthodontist or one of the office team for essential or emergency treatments only. All other issues are dealt with online or by way of a phone call. Most issues can be temporarily sorted at home with instruction, others must be done immediately. You will have to wait longer for an appointment in any regard.
- Stay in your car until called. Announce your arrival by calling the office. Your orthodontist will have a dedicated COVID number.
- Sanitize your hands and put on a face mask.
- Answer questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms.
- Your temperature will be taken with a device to your forehead.
- The office will seem empty. There will be a lack of magazines and iPads. Also, coffee and beverages will be missing.
- Only the patient and one guardian if needed will be allowed in the office. The guardian may be asked to wait in reception.
- You’ll need to stay 6 feet or more from the nearest person.
- The waiting times may be extended as time is needed for sanitizing the areas the orthodontist needs to work in.
- It is important that you do not attend the office if you are suffering symptoms. You’ll have to wait the agreed isolation time before rescheduling the appointment.
Staying in touch with your orthodontist is essential during self-isolation. You’ll be notified when an appointment is necessary. A zoom or telephone call may be all that is needed to sort out the issue. You can generally set up a virtual appointment with ease with your provider. Always keep going as per the treatment plan.
Invisalign Treatment During Self-Isolation
If you have Invisalign aligners you will find not much will change during a lockdown. Only if you need to see the doctor for an essential treatment like shaving (Inter Proximal Reduction) or an attachment is loose or needs adjusting. Otherwise, you’ll use the scanning software on your smartphone to send images via WIFI. This is then loaded into the Invisalign software and your orthodontist can diagnose and advance treatments.
If you lose an aligner, things may be trickier than normal
If you lose an aligner, things may be trickier than normal. There would certainly be delays in the replacements arriving from the factory. Then further delays on appointments and traveling. Keeping a robust eye on your devices during lockdown is well advised.
Aligner Care During Self-Isolation
It is important to continue wearing your aligners and your rubber bands to maintain your treatment progress, or your treatment results 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.
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.
Always remember to wash your hands before placing and removing your aligners or elastics.
Dental Emergencies During Self-Isolation
Isolation doesn’t have to mean you have to go without proper device functions. If you have an issue carry out the instructions below and call your orthodontist.
Loose brackets are common. If you have a broken or malfunctioning bracket, contact your orthodontist. We advise you to leave the bracket on the wire. DO not attempt to adjust it as it will damage the shape of the wire and render it ineffective.
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 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.
The only negative part of orthodontic treatment during self-isolation is the uncertainty. Our office and staff are here to assist you as before. Please contact us with any issue via electronic means and we’ll help. This article shows that orthodontic care during self-isolation has many benefits. To start on the road to a gold standard smile with Dr. Schulhof. Contact us to make an appointment.
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400 Kinderkamack Rd.
Oradell, NJ 07649
Dr Schulhof graduated with high honours from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and received his specialty training from Columbia University.
His early interest in lingual orthodontics has led to him becoming the top provider for Incognito in the U.S. and the world. Dr Schulhof was part of the LingualCare Clinical Advisory Board and is now a Key Opinion Leader for 3M and Incognito. He has presented lectures on lingual orthodontics throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Dr Schulhof is also active in research and development and was a major contributor to the development of Incognito Lite. Recently, New Jersey Orthodontist Dr Schulhof has opened a satellite practice in NYC.