Holidays are meant for relaxing, spending time with family and enjoying the Christmas and new year celebrations. So, to ease the stress of orthodontic treatment over the holidays, we’ve listed some do’s and don’ts for all patients and what to do’s if something goes wrong.
In orthodontics, there are no ‘emergency’ appointments, for any dental emergencies we recommend seeing your general dentist, but for those common issues that are easily fixed we’ve provided some troubleshooting options.
- Keep your teeth clean, whether you have braces or aligners, this is a must.
- Wear your aligners or elastics as requested, to make sure you stay on track with your treatment.
- Make sure to keep your aligners or retainers in their case, out of the sun and out of reach of any pets, especially dogs! (We get a lot of patients with cheeky dogs who have taken their retainers for themselves).
- If you have any concerns while we are closed about your retainer or aligners, contact us via our webchat, for any other enquiries contact us via email and we will respond to you when we re-open in January.
DON’TS – For patients with braces
- We know it’s hard during holiday time but please avoid eating hard or sticky foods. This could include pork crackling, candy canes, toffee, sticky lollies, crusty bread, nuts, hard chocolate and raw carrots (leave these for the reindeers!).
- Do not bite down on ice cubes in drinks.
DON’TS – For patients with aligners/retainers
- Aligners should not be let in the hot sun; they will distort and will no longer fit.
- Avoid wrapping your aligners in tissues or napkins, they are more likely to be thrown away – trust us, it happens more often than you think!
- Don’t leave your aligners in reach of pets – especially dogs! (We get a lot of patients with cheeky dogs who have taken their retainers for themselves).
WHAT TO DO’S
Broken Bracket (A bracket comes unglued from the tooth, usually caused by biting down on something hard)
What to do: Don’t worry about it, a broken bracket does not need to be repaired immediately. If it’s the very back bracket, slide it off the wire and keep it for your next appointment. Contact us via webchat and we will be in touch when we reopen.
Poking Wire (The wire may have slipped to one side so there is excess wire at the back of the tube, or ‘tail’ of a small wire tie may be poking out from the bracket wire)
What to do:
- Nail clippers can be used to trim the end of the wire,
- Reposition the wire by using eyebrow tweezers to grip the wire between the two front teeth and moving the wire in the other direction to even out the wire length on either side,
- If the wire has come out of the back tube, tuck the wire underneath the tube so it is out of the way, or;
- Tuck or push the “tail” toward the tooth with your fingernail, end of pen, cotton bud or end of a match stick.
Missing Elastic (The coloured or clear rubber ring that ties the wire into the bracket is missing)
What to do: This is not urgent, wait until the clinic is reopened. Just ensure the main archwire stays sitting in the bracket slot.
Lost, Run Out or Can’t Wear Elastics
What to do: not a problem, stop wearing all elastics until we reopen, we can send more out via post or you can drop in to collect another packet
Invisalign Aligner Doesn’t Fit, is Broken or Lost
What to do: Move onto your next aligner if you have it or go back to your previous aligner and contact us vis webchat, we will be in touch when we reopen.
Glued in Retainer Moves
What to do: Try to leave the retainer glued to the rest of the teeth, it is much easier to fix and is less costly. Make sure you wear your removable retainer until your next appointment. Contact the clinic via webchat or email to book a repair appointment.
Removable Retainer is Lost or Broken
What to do:
- If the bonded retainer is still glued to the back of the teeth, it will keep everything in place. Contact the clinic via webchat or email to book a replacement appointment.
- In all other cases, contact the clinic via webchat or email for further advice.
What to do: Use orthodontic wax to cover the bracket causing the ulcer, this can be found at most chemists. Salty water rinses can help to speed up healing of the ulcer or Kenalog in Orabase is an over-the-counter paste that can ease the discomfort of an ulcer and is found at most chemists.
Check our Instagram page or the demonstration video below to see how to do the above troubleshooting options.
From all the team at Toowong Orthodontics, we hope you have a safe and joyous Christmas and New Year. We will be ready to welcome you back to the clinic to continue your smile journey in January.