Wondering about your orthodontic care during the COVID-19 pandemic? We’re still here for you.
We understand that there are questions about how the Coronavirus will impact your orthodontic care. As these rapidly changing circumstances evolve, we are still here to support you. Here are answers to some common questions to help you navigate this time.
Why Are Your Offices Closed?
As a healthcare provider, I view the health and safety of my patients, employees, and the greater community as my highest priority– always.
Following the recommendations of health and government officials, we made the tough decision to suspend all elective procedures until further notice.
While we pride ourselves in providing safe and standardized care for patients and following hospital level sterilization protocols always, we understand the importance of working together to do our part to help “flatten the curve” and keep our community safe.
We will continue to closely monitor the situation and make decisions based on what is in the best interest of everyone in our care, and all of those in the greater Alexandria community.
What Is Elective And What Is Non-Elective?
While we all know that orthodontic care is a life-changing journey that impacts each patient’s life greatly, we also recognize that isn’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind currently. We are limiting treatment to non-elective treatment only as we help do our part to slow the progression of COVID-19. What does that mean? The American Association of Orthodontists has recently released their guidelines on what procedures are considered non-elective, and which are not.
Non-Elective Procedures, including those considered to be orthodontic emergencies, are defined as remedying one or more of the following:
- Significant oral pain
- Limited function
- Physically traumatic event yielding the above
Unless any of the above is true, problems like loose brackets and bands or lost or broken retainers or aligners should be considered elective at this time.
What Does This Mean For Me?
Please brush and floss thoroughly and maintain your dental health as normally instructed. Use common sense in avoiding foods that could damage your braces, and please always remember to wash your hands before placing and removing your aligners or elastics.
If You Are Wearing Braces Or An Appliance
- Keep good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing three times a day.
- Now is an especially good time to avoid forbidden foods to avoid any breakage!
- Your braces will continue to straighten your teeth all day and night throughout this time.
- If you wear elastics, continue to do so as directed.
- Properly wearing your elastics is important because it will continue to correct your bite.
- When our office reopens, we will continue your treatment.
If You Are Wearing Aligners
- Please make sure to keep wearing your current aligners as instructed.
- For best use, bite into your chewie for 10 seconds and work it around your teeth lightly – biting and holding for 10-minutes at a time.
- If you no longer have aligners to continue to your next week, simply reduce your aligner wear to a retainer phase of 10-12 hours per day. (This will ensure that your teeth stay in place and help your aligner last longer.)
- Make sure to use your chewies and bite and hold to seat your aligners in areas where you may see visible space between your tooth and the aligner.
- Keep your aligners clean and avoid all drinks other than water while wearing them.
- When our office reopens, we will create a new digital scan for new aligners.
What Should I Do If I Have A Problem During This Time?
Keep in mind, many common orthodontic “emergencies” can be managed at home with a pair of cuticle cutters/nail clippers. If you have a wire poking you, a broken bracket, have lost your retainers or aligners, or have any other issues while we are out of the office, don’t worry– just contact us!
Your progress and concerns are always our top priority and in order to best serve you during this public health crisis, we have added a new tool on our website that allows for patients to be seen virtually from the comfort of your home! We ask at this time that patients only use this feature to address concerns or questions.
To get started with you Virtual CheckUp, → click here
I’m Waiting To Have My Braces Removed– Now What?
We’re as excited as you are to see your new smile! Unfortunately, the removal of braces causes a production of aerosol particles that potentially contain biological materials. While we adhere to hospital level sterilization protocols, protecting both our patients and staff is our top priority, so we will resume removal of braces when it is safe to do so.
I Had An Appointment Coming Up– Now What?
We will reschedule all appointments as soon as it becomes safe to do so.
Questions? Contact Us!
We are still right here for you. The team and I are working remotely and can be reached more easily by texting the office phone number: 703-838-8998. If you ever have any questions, comments or concerns, we want to answer those for you!
The entire Larson Orthodontic team appreciates your patience and understanding as we navigate these challenging times.
We Look Forward To Seeing You Very Soon!