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Skipping Orthodontic Adjustments During COVID-19

Due to the executive order from the State of Tennessee and local outbreaks of COVID-19, our offices have been open only for emergency appointments since March 17, 2020. At the date of this blog post, we will be resuming normal operating hours on May 1, 2020.

This closure is unfortunately causing regular orthodontic adjustments to be rescheduled 2 or 3 months out.  As we’re sure many of you have questions regarding your braces, we will answer some FAQs about orthodontic treatment below.

Can I skip 2 to 3 months of orthodontic adjustments?

Yes- you can go a few months without an orthodontic adjustment, and it will not cause any damage to your teeth. It may, however, add 2 to 3 months to your treatment time. Orthodontic wires can continue to straighten teeth for several months after being placed. Therefore, your braces are most likely still working even though we haven’t seen you recently. 

What do I do if my bracket breaks, or I have a wire poking me?

The first way to overcome discomfort from a wire poke is to apply a piece of wax on the part of the wire that is poking you. Pinch off a piece of wax, roll it into a ball, and place it on the wire. If you are completely out of wax, please call our office and we will be happy to mail some to you. You can also consider purchasing wax from any pharmacy that sells toothbrushes. 

If the wax isn’t working, a parent or guardian can help you clip the wire if needed. Take a pair of sterile fingernail clippers, place them behind the wire, clip, and then remove the debris with tweezers.

If only a bracket is loose, it’s generally not an emergency. However, if it is causing severe discomfort, give us a call as you may need to come in and see us.  

I had spacers placed before the closure. What if they come out before our next appointment?

Spacers help provide the space needed to fit or seat an appliance. If your spacers fall out before your next appointment, give us a call and we will get you back in for a spacer appointment a few days before we deliver/fit your appliance.

The doctor prescribed rubber bands at my last appointment. Should I still wear them?

Yes, continue wearing the rubber bands as instructed until you run out. Once you run out don’t worry- we will reevaluate your bite and resume elastics if necessary when we see you back in the office again.  

How can I get my braces off faster?

There are two ways to ensure that you get your braces off as soon as possible. The first way is: don’t break brackets. When brackets are broken, we have to decrease the wire size which can add 2-3 months of treatment time. 

Another way to speed up treatment is by wearing your rubber bands. It is very important to wear your rubber bands at least 22 hours a day.  We prescribe rubber bands to help correct your bite. In order to correct the bite, the rubber bands have to be worn continuously. 

Please know that we are answering the phones and are here to take care of your dental and orthodontic needs should an emergency arise.  Give us a call if you need us, and stay safe!

Article written by Dr. Peter Wojtkiewicz