Latest information for patients

We’re open for business, but with a slightly different way of working. Under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 there are a few changes to be aware of:

Our industry is working closely with the Ministry of Health, government agencies, and the Dental Council of New Zealand to ensure that New Zealand continues in its goal to control COVID-19. This means physical distancing, increased infection control measures, and additional precautions.  

We will attempt, as best as possible, to reschedule patients in the order in which they were cancelled during lockdown. If you need to contact us we recommend that you email us on and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Rest assured, your treatment should not be dramatically hindered by missing an appointment during the nationwide lockdown. In the worst case, it may somewhat increase treatment duration in certain cases. The best things you can do are:

Contact tracing

Under Level 1 we still require you to check in for contact tracing purposes. We are using Rippl in our Wellington clinic. Download Rippl: AppStore | GooglePlay

Before your appointment : Wellness screen

Before we can confirm your appointment we will send you a health questionnaire to answer and return to us, ensuring you are healthy and able to attend your appointment safely. The health questionnaire includes these questions (as per Ministry of Health guidelines):

  1. Do you have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19?
  2. Are you waiting for a COVID-19 test or the results?  
  3. Have you travelled overseas in the last 14 days or had contact with someone who has returned from overseas in the last 14 days?
  4. Have you had close contact with other people in the last 14 days who are probable or confirmed to have COVID-19?
  5. Are you in quarantine / self-isolation?
  6. Do you have any of the following symptoms: a high temperature (at least 38˚C), a cough, shortness of breath, a sore throat, sneezing and running nose, or temporary loss of smell?

If you answer NO to the above questions, please email the following statement to before your appointment (e.g. the day before)

“I, (parent/caregiver’s full name), confirm that (patient’s name and date of birth) answered no to all of the above six questions regarding COVID-19. I agree to contact you immediately if this changes before my appointment.”

Please note. Our staff will also be asked the same questions every day.

If you answer YES to any of the questions: Under the Dental Council of New Zealand guidelines, while we are in Alert Level 1, NO routine treatment can be carried out if a patient is ill / suspected of COVID-19 but we can offer emergency treatment (e.g. if an appliance is causing you pain or inflammation we can see you to alleviate this). Routine orthodontic treatment can begin after consultation and clearance with your GP.

Tips and advice

  • Keep up the oral hygiene! Brush three times a day, followed by interproximal brush use or a WaterPik. As an adjunct, use a fluoride mouth rinse (e.g. Fluoriguard 225ppm) and/or an antibacterial mouth rinse (e.g. Peroxyl), once a day.
  • Maintain a low sugar diet. Where possible minimise snacking on sugars and drinks with added sugar. Fizzy drinks should be avoided in particular.
  • Avoid hard and sticky foodstuffs that could break the brace wire or fracture brackets (debond) off a tooth (e.g. toffees, Minties, ice, pork crackling, corn chips).
  • Elastic and wax supplies: If you are running out of elastics or wax, please email us and we will endeavour to courier some out to you, as stocks allow.

Handling minor orthodontic emergencies at home

Handling orthodontic issues at home (courtesy of American Association of Orthodontists) Please note. for pain and discomfort we recommend taking paracetamol over non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (e.g. ibuprofen/Nurofen)

Broken bonded retainer (video courtesy of British Orthodontic Society)

Loose wire or lost o-ring (video courtesy of British Orthodontic Society)

Sharp wires (video courtesy of British Orthodontic Society)

If you have any concerns, please call us on 04-385-7213 or our emergency hot-line 027 242 9358 to speak to one of our team who can guide you through a solution.

Stay safe,

The Courtenay Orthodontics teams team