Orthodontic treatment prrrooobbbaaally isn’t at the front of your mind this week 😀
Who knew that finding hand sanitizer and toilet paper would become a contact sport?!
Nonetheless, we want you to know that your health and safety is still our top priority, which is why we are following the recommendations of health and government officials to limit orthodontic treatment to non-elective treatment only.
The decision to close was not made lightly, however, keeping our community safe is important to us, and we felt these precautions were necessary to accomplish this. Our limited treatment will continue at least until the end of March. We will continue to closely monitor changes and keep our patients informed of any changes.
So what is essential (non-elective) orthodontic treatment?
Personally, I think the answer to this question is different in different situations. Some people may argue that no orthodontic treatment is ever essential since straight teeth aren’t required to eat, speak, or smile. I’m a bit biased, but I think that orthodontic treatment has a tremendous impact on a patient’s life. I believe that what we do here is essential.
However, that isn’t our highest priority at this time– now, we are all focused on what we can do to help “flatten the curve”. By doing only essential treatment, we’ll help to slow the progression of the coronavirus and allow our healthcare system to be able to better manage those who get sick.
Thankfully, the American Association of Orthodontists has given guidance on what is essential during this (short) period:
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?
As we wait for this situation to pass, please brush and floss thoroughly and maintain your dental health as normally instructed. 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.
Even though our offices are closed, your progress and concerns are always our top priority. In order to serve you best even during a public health crisis, we have added a new feature on our website that allows for patients to be seen virtually. We ask at this time that patients only use this feature to address concerns or questions.
To get started with you Virtual CheckUp, click here →
I’m waiting to have my braces removed – now what?
We’re as excited as you are to see your new smile! Unfortunately, the removal of braces causes a production of aerosol particles that potentially contain biological materials. While we adhere to hospital level sterilization protocols, protecting both our patients and staff is our top priority, so we will resume removal of braces when it is safe to do so.
I had an appointment coming up – now what?
We will reschedule all appointments as soon as it becomes safe to do so.
My retainer or aligner is broken or lost.
Give us a call at (816) 781-8585. We’ll contact you back with a solution!
I have a wire poking me– what do I do?
Call us at (816) 781-8585! Keep in mind, many common orthodontic “emergencies” can be managed at home with a pair of cuticle cutters/nail clippers.
Not a patient? Curious about orthodontic care? Have our office see your case without having to leave your house– for free!
Try a free, no-obligation Virtual Consult to help you plan your orthodontic care! Your Virtual Consult takes less than 5 minutes to complete, and you’ll get personal feedback from Dr. Kanning about what your options are.
To get started with your Virtual Consult, click here →
We are still right here for you– This situation is a different time. We are working on creative ways to stay connected and make sure that we can stay connected with you, even if we don’t get to see your smiles in person.
We thank you for your patience, understanding, and encourage you to stay well, be kind, and take care of each other. We’ll see you very soon.
Dr. Neil Kanning