Dear Szymanowski Orthodontic Family,
Dated: March 20th, 2020
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 to do in the event of an emergency or what you can do to progress your treatment. 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?
We are frequently assessing the situation and will do our best to notify you of any changes or recommendations. Our team will be available to assist patients by phone, text and email from 9am-4pm Monday – Friday. To help keep our outgoing lines open for our team to handle patient concerns, we ask that you email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org 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, PLEASE do not eat HARD, STICKY, and CHEWEY foods to avoid any breakage. If wearing any elastics, 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.
IF YOU RUN OUT OF ELASTICS, PLEASE CALL OUR OFFICE TO GET MORE AS NEEDED.
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 as prescribed. Bite and hold the chewie 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 schedule you an appointment to pick up or scan for new aligners.
- Retainer Brite can be purchased on Amazon to use to keep your aligners clean.
- 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 start this journey with us and look forward to seeing your new smile!
If you currently have spacers in your teeth, please remove them or call our office and we can remove them for you.
What about getting my braces off?
Although dental care is very safe for patients and providers with the use of standard universal precautions and hospital level sterilization protocols. Cleaning teeth and the removal of orthodontic bonding materials produce aerosols that can possibly contain biological material. We recommend holding off on the removal of appliances at this time.
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 be contact you to see how we can proceed.
Will patients be allowed in the office at all? Is there anyone there?
Only for emergencies at this time, 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?
Please do not hesitate to call us! Send us a picture via email and Dr. Szymanowski will review it and get back to you ASAP with recommendations. We will do our best to walk you through a solution for simple concerns.
If your cheeks are being irritated one option is to use an over the counter rinse like Rinsinol or Peroxyl, if not, a diluted warm saltwater solution (a few minutes 3-4 times a day can also help. In the case of a true emergency involving severe pain or discomfort, we will be able to resolve it with a quick trip to our office.
Social media will be the fastest place to learn new information from us. Follow us on Instagram @szymanowski_orthodontics and at facebook.com/szymanowskiorthodontics for updates.
Thank you for your kind understanding and support during this unprecedented time. We are grateful for your support of our practice. We’re excited to see you soon! Be well.
Dr. Szymanowski and his Team at Szymanowski Orthodontics