Advice For Orthodontic Patients (COVID-19)
The British Orthodontic Society (BOS) have released guidance that states dentists cannot carry out any orthodontic treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are constantly reviewing the guidance and closely monitoring this evolving situation for the safety of our patients and staff. Below is some advice to help you manage your orthodontic treatment at home.
· Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before inserting or removing your aligners
· If your aligner feels sharp, you can smooth sharp edges with an emery board
· If your aligner or retainer breaks, you should attempt to continue to wear both pieces if possible OR wear your previous aligner, do not stop wearing your aligner completely
· Don’t worry if you lose an attachment, you can continue your treatment as normal until we see you again at your next appointment where we can replace any missing attachments
· We recommend that you wear the aligners provided for 22 hours per day for 3 weeks (instead of usual 1-2 weeks).
· Once you have worn your last aligner for the above recommended 3 weeks, then reduce your wear to night time only and wear like a retainer.
· If you have a loose wire in your fixed braces, carefully use tweezers to push the wire back into the metal tube on the back molar
· If a wire has started to dig into your gums, use a nail clipper to trim the wire. If you are unable to clip the wire, we recommend using the provided wax to cover the wire and prevent it being sharp until we can see you
· If a bracket has fallen off, do not panic as this is not urgent unless it is causing trauma to your soft tissues. Where possible remove the rubber band from the bracket using a pin (be very careful) to remove the bracket from the wire. If you have self-ligating brackets – you can try to open the gate with a pin (be very careful) to remove the bracket from the wire
· If the bracket falls of the tooth and you lose it, do not worry - you don’t need to do anything.
Most importantly for all orthodontic patients:
· Excellent oral hygiene – ensure that you are maintaining your oral hygiene by brushing your teeth 3 times a day with a toothbrush and use interdental brushes between the brackets. Concentrate on cleaning around the brackets and also along the gumline to prevent a build-up of plaque.
· Fluoride – use fluoride toothpaste. Use fluoride toothpaste at a different time in the day to brushing for added fluoride benefit
· Low sugar diet – where possible avoid consuming food and drink that are high in sugar. Fizzy drinks should be avoided.
· Avoid hard, sticky and chewy foods – to prevent breakages of the brace or more serious dental emergencies
We will keep you updated and resume your treatment as a priority when advice suggests that we should reopen. If you have any problems, please call Dr Karnika who will be able to discuss any issues with you. Thank you for your understanding and we will contact you as soon as we can!