How to look after your teeth if you can’t get to your orthodontic appointment
|Your regular orthodontic appointments are an important part of your orthodontic journey and ensuring your treatment stays on track. But what happens when you can’t make it into your clinic? Whether it’s due to social distancing, an extended holiday or your clinic being closed, we’ve put together some tips for what to do when you can’t visit your chosen specialist.
Should I still see my dentist or orthodontist during the coronavirus pandemic?
Orthodontists operate in an extremely regulated industry, which means the highest level of hygiene is practiced in clinics across the country. Many clinics are taking even more precautions to protect the community at this time.
If you do not feel comfortable visiting an orthodontic clinic, you should contact your specialist orthodontist to get their expert advice and discuss your options.
In the event of an emergency, here are some common measures you can take at home. Please ensure you disinfect all equipment before putting it in your mouth. This can be done by using alcohol wipes or by cleaning it with soap and hot water before putting it in your mouth. Always contact your orthodontist first.
If a poking wire is causing discomfort, use tweezers to put the wire back into place. Alternatively, you can use nail clippers to clip the wire behind the last bracket. Then use orthodontic wax to cover up the sharp ends. Just ensure you sterilise all equipment before putting it in your mouth.
If a bracket breaks, it can still rotate and move along the wire. This rarely causes pain and can be fixed by your orthodontist at your next appointment. In the meantime, use disinfected tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire so it sits between two teeth or in the centre of your tooth, to avoid discomfort.
Sore and ulcers
Unfortunately, it’s common for people with braces to get ulcers or cuts in their mouth. If you are experiencing irritation, use a small amount of orthodontic wax to ease the discomfort. You can also rinse your mouth with salt-water to soothe the pain and heal the sore.
The importance of oral hygiene
What many people don’t know is that your oral hygiene is even more important while undergoing treatment, and especially if you’re unable to make appointments. Here are some tips to ensure you do the basics well:
Brushing your teeth after every meal
When wearing braces in particular, it’s much easier for pesky pieces of food to get trapped in your brackets. Use a toothbrush with a soft head to access those hard-to-reach areas. Orthodontists recommend brushing your teeth after every meal, so ensure your orthodontic care kit is packed with essential items including a toothbrush and toothpaste.
Flossing your teeth
Flossing helps remove plaque build-up and smaller food particles that are stuck between your braces. If you find it tricky to floss with regular tape, you can invest in a pikster or interdental brush that will help you manoeuvre around your brackets. Remember to be gentle, as applying too much pressure may cause your wire to bend or break.
If you still have concerns about your orthodontic treatment at any stage of your journey, it’s important to contact your specialist orthodontist. They will be able to provide their expert advice to ensure your treatment stays on track and is not compromised by the impact of coronavirus.
Your health and safety is their number one priority. Use our finder tool to locate a specialist orthodontist near you.