Broken bracket? Pokey Wire? Running out of Clear Aligners? Here’s what to do when you can’t come to the office.
March 25th, 2020
The team at Struble has created a handy series of patient troubleshooting videos for snags you might encounter with your braces or clear aligners during our office closure. Our anticipated date of return to regular business hours is June 15th as mandated by our State Governor Kate Brown. Until that time, our phones are staffed until noon on weekdays and we are happy for you to call us (541-848-6642) with any questions. We want you to know that you are not alone should you be experiencing a true orthodontic emergency!
If you haven’t yet read it yet, you catch up on our response to all COVID-19 related things here.
Out of respect for our nationwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we ask that you carefully consider any visit you might make to our office for treatment before June 15th, as every glove, mask, and gown used to treat a patient counts in the fight our hospitals are facing against COVID-19. Struble is donating all PPE to our state efforts to battle coronavirus except for a small contingency to treat orthodontic emergencies. This means we all play a part in helping preserve gloves and masks for those who need it most.
Here are some helpful orthodontic tips to get you through our time of reduced services:
Question #1: “I have mouth pain and or facial trauma. Is this an orthodontic emergency?”
Any kind of facial trauma involving an open wound and/or appliance that has damaged soft tissue. A broken appliance from trauma that results in a hanging or disconnected end. If your pain is mild or your soft tissue is unaffected, it may be best to revisit the issue when we return to the office if you are able to hold the appliance in place with orthodontic wax. Please call our office in advance to your arrival so we can be prepared to serve you.
Question #2: “I’m a clear aligner patient and I’m running out of aligners. What do I do?”
If you are worried about running out of clear aligners there are few ways to handle that. The first is to drop down your wear-time of the aligners to night time only. This will keep teeth from shifting in a bad direction while maintaining the progress you’ve made. If you have active aligners, adjust your wear time to two-week intervals for the meantime. If you are wearing elastics, please continue to do so. If you are running out of elastics we can mail them to you or can pick them up yourself (we have them packaged and available for easy pick up at our Bend office).
Question #3: “What do I do with a broken bracket, Herbst appliance, or a pokey wire that annoys me?”
Additional videos with demos to fix specific bracket, wire, and Herbst issues.
With the office closure, it is more important to watch what you eat and how you eat to avoid breaking your orthodontic appliances. This means avoidance of hard or sticky foods like caramels or popcorn that might cause damage to your braces. However, if you do damage a bracket or a wire in your mouth, not to worry! There are a few easy fixes in the following videos to get you by, pain-free. Trimming pokey wires with a clean nail trimmer is easier than you think. Failing that, securing a loose or broken bracket in place with wax is a great solution until we are able to see you in person.
Question #4: “I had a growth and development check-up appointment scheduled during Struble’s office closure. What now?”
Good news! A virtual consultation platform is in the works. Stay tuned for more information about that on our blog soon. For those who had scheduled a simple appliance check, a retainer check, or a clear aligner check, we may be able to handle these types of requests through our virtual platform. We will be notifying patients about this telemedicine option soon. Please check back with us in the coming weeks.
Question #5: “What if I lose or break my retainer while the office is closed?
Unfortunately, we can’t see you in the office to take impressions to create a new appliance. But please do call us immediately if you lose an appliance (541-848-6642). If you contact us before your teeth begin to shift, we may be able to 3-D print your retainer model from when braces were removed and have it shipped to you. If a more significant amount of time has passed, you can always go to an online retailer like Amazon or Walmart to buy a customizable night guard. This will hold you over for temporary use until we can see you in person. We recognize that minor shifting of your teeth may occur. When we reopen our doors, we will be here for you to create a new treatment plan.
Question #6: I’m running out of orthodontic wax, elastics, and/or cleaning supplies for my braces. What should I do?”
Though this is a minor concern, we want to serve you in the best way possible which means we will be keeping our front door stocked with extra elastics and wax for our Struble patients. We can mail these to you directly or you can come in and pick them up before noon at our Bend location. We recommend you continue to wear your elastics only at night if you are running low and not able to restock your supply.
Lastly, we want to thank our awesome community for hanging with us through this time of unexpected closure. Our wish is to keep you healthy and safe by reserving our treatment hours for essential orthodontic emergencies. Thank you for understanding and again, do not hesitate to call our offices at 541-848-6642 should you need advice over the phone or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help you!