Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19

We know your braces aren't your biggest priority right now, but you still probably have some questions about how the Coronavirus will impact your orthodontic care. We are still here to support you, and we will continue to be as these circumstances evolve. We're following the recommendations of health & government officials and limiting orthodontic treatment to non-elective only– here are answers to some common questions to help you navigate this time.

Why Are Your Offices Closed?

The safety and health of our patients, staff, and community is always our highest priority. Following the recommendations of health and government officials, we have made the tough decision to suspend all elective procedures until further notice.

While we pride ourselves on always providing safe care for patients and following hospital-level sterilization protocols, we also feel strongly that we must do our part to help "flatten the curve" and keep our community safe.

We will continue to closely monitor this situation and make decisions based on what is best for everyone in our care. We hope that this is only a brief delay, and when we see you again, we will work hard to make up for any lost time.

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
  • Infection
  • Limited function
  • Physically traumatic event yielding the above

Elective Procedures

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 that 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.
  • Keep your aligners clean and avoid all drinks other than water while wearing them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)

Virtual Checkup

Your progress and concerns are always our top priority, and 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! 

To get started with you Virtual CheckUp, → click here

What Should I Do If I Have A Problem During This Time?

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!

We are still available for emergencies that require immediate attention. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns or questions during this time.

I’m Waiting To Have My Braces Removed– Now What?

We understand that this is inconvenient and realize how disappointing it is to not have your braces removed when you expect to. Unfortunately, the removal of braces causes the 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 removing braces when it is safe to do so.

Will My Appointment Be Rescheduled?

Our team will reach out to reschedule your appointment as soon as it becomes safe to do so. In the meantime, expect a text from us on the day of your regularly scheduled appointment with instructions on starting your Virtual CheckUp.

Questions? Contact Us!

If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns, we want to answer those for you! Our team can speak by phone during our normal business hours if you need us or have any questions at 479-521-4181

Our team appreciates your patience and understanding as we navigate these challenging times. We look forward to seeing you again very soon.

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Northwest Orthodontics is located in Centerton & Fayetteville, AR but happily serves Bentonville, Farmington, Springdale, Rogers, Johnson Prairie Grove, West Fork, Tontitown, and Northwest Arkansas. The contents of are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Copying without permission is strictly forbidden.
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