We are all facing an unprecedented time of social distancing as well as practice limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Per Governor DeWine, our offices have to remain closed until May 1st. We understand that many of you may be wondering what to do about your braces since you can’t see your orthodontist for regular appointments. The orthodontic team here at Hudec Dental Orthodontics wants to let you know that they are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have, 24/7.
How are we here for you 24/7?
Hudec Dental has introduced a great initiative through a teledentistry tool known as Ask the Dentist. Through that, you can email the orthodontics team 24/7 with any questions or emergencies. Our responses are almost immediate. This tool can be accessed on the Hudec Dental website homepage through the COVID-19 tab.
At this point, we would like to clarify what constitutes an emergency: an ongoing issue involving bleeding, severe pain, infection, or swelling requires that you seek immediate care. Feel free to use the teledentistry portal and we will walk you through the necessary steps.
Aside from emergencies, there are always issues that can present themselves when you have braces and can truly bother you. Dr Bous and Dr. Xofylli have put together some frequently asked questions together with their advice:
Frequently Asked Questions
How would the delay in appointments affect my treatment and can it harm my teeth?
Typically, for most patients, the long span between appointments should not have adverse effects on your teeth or treatment, other than possibly increasing the total treatment time.
What should I do if I have a broken bracket, a bent wire, or something poking?
Most orthodontic appliances will not cause a serious problem if broken, however, a broken brace or wire can be annoying and sometimes painful. We encourage you to try and apply orthodontic wax to it to minimize irritation. If you are out of wax, there is a link below to where you can buy it online. Alternatively, you can get it from some pharmacies. If there is no severe pain or discomfort that requires urgent attention, we will get everything fixed for you and the brace replaced as soon as our clinics are open again. Below, we will provide links to some resources that can help you manage your issue. If there is severe pain, bleeding or discomfort, please let us know immediately. Depending on how long before the broken appliance can be repaired, there could be some loss of progress, delaying the time when your braces can come off. Finally, please remember to follow your food list and restrictions carefully to minimize the incidence of broken braces or wires.
Should I continue to wear my elastics (rubber bands)? And what should I do when I run out of them?
Please continue to wear your elastics as you have been instructed by your orthodontist. Typically, it is okay to keep wearing the elastics, as instructed. However, the longer the period of time before a regular appointment can be made, the more likely that the elastics could cause some overcorrection. Overcorrection, if mild, will not pose a problem, and can even be desirable, in certain cases. However, if you run out of elastics please do not worry about it, we will see you as soon as we can and get it taken care of. Please do not use household elastics/rubber bands or buy some online, as different elastics have different force levels and sizes, and wearing the wrong ones may cause adverse effects.
What if I have an expander?
If you currently have an expander in your mouth, stop turning!!! All expanders have to stay in your mouth for a period of approximately 4 months after they have been turned, so keeping it in functions as a great retainer. Please let us know if your expander is broken or is causing any sort of pain.
Please remember to keep up your brushing, flossing, and oral care routines. Poor daily home care will lead to a build-up of plaque (bacteria) which may eventually cause white spots on your teeth. Your gums may get inflamed and swollen if oral care is not maintained, and that can slow your treatment down and may lead to gum disease.
Other links to reference:
We look forward to seeing you again once our clinics are back open. Until then, stay safe and healthy!