Maintaining Orthodontic Treatment At Home

Dr. Mark Clauss April 13, 2020

As the CDC continues to encourage social distancing and more states enact safer-at-home orders, it’s easy to see that times are changing. This may leave you wondering where that leaves your orthodontic treatment or if you can even move forward. The great news is you don’t have to worry! Maintaining your treatment from home is easier than ever before. And you can do so all while keeping in touch with Dr. Clauss

With today’s technology and a few simple habits, you can keep your smile progressing at home! Whether you’re wearing Invisalign aligners or traditional metal braces, you can stay on track and get the smile you’ve always dreamed of, while following social distancing guidelines and helping slow the spread of COVID-19. We’ve put together a guide on how you can take care of your smile at home, no matter what treatment you’re pursuing! Keep reading to find out more. 

Invisalign 

If you have Invisalign aligners, you can simply proceed with treatment as usual! If you’re at the end of an aligner series, and you don’t have the next one, that’s okay. You can continue to wear the last aligner you used! It’s very important that you don’t stop wearing your aligners, as this can stunt your progress, and even cause your teeth to move back toward their original position in your mouth. For this reason, if you do not have more aligners, continue to wear the last aligner you have until things are back to normal and the office re-opens.

We know accidents happen, and aligners get lost or broken. If this happens during our office closures, simply return to the previous aligner in the series and continue to wear that one until the office reopens. You should also continue to wear any elastics as directed by Dr. Clauss. If you run out, that’s no problem. There are always elastics stocked in the mailbox outside the office, or you can even give us a call and we can send you more!

Braces

Orthodontic treatment is a big investment in your health and, therefore, it’s crucial to stick to the guidelines put in place by Dr. Clauss. When you’re undergoing braces treatment, any deviation from your treatment plan can lead to problems down the road. Be sure to wear any elastics as directed by Dr. Clauss to keep your teeth moving in the right direction! If you run out, there are always elastics stocked in the mailbox outside the office, or you can even give us a call and we can send you more!

If you have any pokey wires, you can use a pair of small cuticle scissors to clip the end. Then, if you have access to orthodontic wax, use a small piece on the end of the wire to relieve any additional pain. Additional wax is always available in the mailbox outside our office.  Additionally, if you find you have a loose bracket, don’t worry! Once our office is reopened, Dr. Clauss will see you right away. Until then, however, you can try gently sliding the bracket back to the center of the tooth. Be sure to avoid all sticky and chewy foods until your next in-office visit!

Retainers

If you’re in the final stages of your treatment, it’s very important that you stay on track! Wearing your retainers as directed by Dr. Clauss will give you the long lasting results you desire, protecting your smile investment. If you lose or break a retainer, just let us know! We’ll work with you to replace it and take any necessary steps to keep your smile progressing. It’s also very important to keep your retainer clean. Plaque and bacteria from your teeth can build up in your retainer, which can lead to oral health issues. By keeping your retainer clean, you can stop any buildup and protect the overall health of your teeth and gums. 

Maintaining Orthodontic Treatment At Home

General Oral Health

The biggest factor in taking care of your smile while staying home is the most simple. Keep up your daily oral care routine. Fixed surface appliances like braces add more area for plaque to build up. If you have access to an electric toothbrush, they are great for removing stubborn plaque! A water flosser is also a great tool to have at home. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing before bed will keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, supporting your orthodontic treatment! By taking good care of your mouth, you’re taking care of your whole body. 

While our offices are closed, it’s more important than ever to stay away from any and all restricted foods! Doing so will help to avoid any preventable accidents. We want to keep your treatment going as smoothly as possible during this uncertain time. Avoid foods that are sticky, hard, or crunchy. You may also want to consider cutting food into smaller pieces or even steaming it to make it gentler on your braces. Remember: this won’t last forever. Doing what’s necessary now will save more work in the future!

 If you have any kind of emergency, we’re here to help! Although our office is closed, we’ll remain available by phone to answer any questions you may have. Additionally, if you have any serious issues that can’t be addressed via text or over the phone, we can schedule an emergency appointment in our office with minimal staff present. Your health and safety is our top priority! We want to help you keep on the path to the smile of your dreams, while ensuring the health and safety of you and your family. 

Social distancing doesn’t have to put your smile on hold! Follow these guidelines and you’ll have the smile you deserve, without leaving the comfort of your home.