Every part of normal life has been disrupted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Who would have thought this is what our spring would look like? As the CDC continues to learn more about the virus and the steps we can all be taking to help keep our families and communities safe, we’re all having to make changes. One of the changes we at Kottemann Orthodontics are making is closing and rescheduling all non-emergency appointments. But that doesn’t mean your smile has to suffer! We’re offering virtual visits to make sure your smile stays on track. Nothing has to keep you from the smile of your dreams, not even a global pandemic.
Something to Smile About
If you’re a current patient at Kottemann Orthodontics, you have no reason to worry that you’ll loose any progress on the smile that you’ve been working so hard on. We will be able to keep an eye on your teeth and appliances and catch any potential problems before they become big problems. One of our doctors will be able to determine any adjustments you need to make at home to continue your treatment process.
How Virtual Visits Work
First, you’ll take pictures of every angle of your teeth and provide some information about yourself and your treatment. On our virtual visits page, we’ve provided examples of the types of photos that you should be taking. We also have a video with some helpful tips. If you wear elastics, make sure you’re wearing them when you take the photos so we can see if there are any issues or changes to be made.
Here are some additional tips to help you take a great photo:
- To get the best angle, have someone else take your photo, or use the self-timer on your camera.
- Make sure the flash is turned on.
- Keep your photos close and only photograph your teeth and mouth.
- Try to keep the muscles around your mouth relaxed.
- Keep your teeth together and bite down hard. This is the best way to make sure the pictures are accurate.
Taking Care of Your Teeth Appliances
Since you’ll be going longer than usual between in-person visits, it’s even more important to take care of your teeth and appliances to keep your treatment on track. Even if the rest of your daily routine has changed, don’t let your oral hygiene or appliance care fall by the wayside!
If you’re undergoing Invisalign treatment, continue to wear your aligners as directed. That means wearing them for 20-22 hours each day. Remove them before eating or drinking anything other than water. And there’s no excuse not to brush or rinse your teeth before putting them back in! Make sure you continue to clean your aligners, as well. If you don’t have the next aligner that you need, or if you lose or break one, continue to wear the previous aligner for 15-18 hours a day until we can get you a new one. Also, make sure you’re using any additional equipment that is part of your treatment. Finally, if you run out of aligners, don’t stop wearing them! Give us an update via our virtual visits page, and we’ll help you determine next steps.
If you’re currently wearing braces, continue to wear your elastics as directed by your doctor. If you run out, let us know so we can mail you more. If you have wire sticking out or sores on your mouth, apply orthodontic wax to the area causing irritation. You can also clip any uncomfortable wires with a pair of nail clippers or small scissors. If a bracket is loose, let us know and we’ll fix it when we can.
One of the most important things to remember is that it’s not worth giving into the temptation to eat forbidden foods! A smile that lasts a lifetime is worth a lot more than a little stress eating! Sticky and crunchy foods can damage your braces, and the last thing we want is for you to have to leave the safety of your home for an avoidable emergency.
We’re Open For Emergencies
If, despite your best efforts to take care of your appliances, you still end up having a serious problem, we’re open for emergency treatment. Give us a call and we can talk you through options to address the problem, or schedule a time for you to come into the office. If you’re experiencing a real emergency, which means that you’re in pain, don’t hesitate to call. To ensure your health and safety, we’ll make sure you’re the only patient in the office and we’ll follow hygiene precautions as recommended by the authorities. And just like we always do, we’ll adhere to the highest sanitation and disinfection practices. You have no reason to worry about any part of your treatment while we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together.
New Patients: Get Started with A Virtual Consultation
If you were hoping to start treatment with us soon, you still can! Visit our virtual consultation page and follow the instructions. Use the photo tips above, and provide some information about your smile goals. Once we get your photos, one of our doctors will assess your teeth and determine the kind of treatment that will be the best fit for your smile goals. We offer traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign treatment to patients of any age.
Our team will contact you and work with you to determine the cost of your treatment, and make sure that it fits your budget. We accept most major insurance plans and offer payment plans. Finally, we’ll create a plan for your next steps once we are able to see you in the office. Since the situation is changing rapidly, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation as plans may potentially change.
Socially Distanced, Virtually Connected
Our goal at Kottemann Orthodontics is to help you and your family stay safe, connected and supported while you continue your smile journey. We’re thrilled to offer virtual visits to ensure your smile stays on track while we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. Our virtual options link you and our team so we can continue to work together on your smile.