Like the rest of New Zealand, we’re keeping safe and staying home as part of the Level 4 lock-down.
Courtenay Orthodontics (and The Orthodontist group) has heeded the call from the Ministry of Health and New Zealand Association of Orthodontists to suspend all non-emergency dental care. As such, we have temporarily closed our practices until at least mid-April (or whenever the lock-down is lifted and we are able to resume normal practice). Our team has progressively been in touch with patients who have appointments over this period to postpone these; and we will provide rescheduled appointment times once we have a better idea of when we’re likely to reopen. It is a case of safety first at this time. We’re all united against COVID-19.
Rest assured, your treatment should not be dramatically hindered by missing an appointment during the nationwide Level 4 lock-down. In the worst case, it may somewhat increase treatment duration in certain cases. The best things you can do are:
- 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 wear: if you are wearing elastics full-time, please switch to night-time/sleep-time wear only until your next appointment with us (i.e. put them on a couple of hours before bed, wear while sleeping and take them out in the morning).
- Elastic and wax supplies: If you are running out of elastics or wax, please call us on our hot-line 027 242 9358 and we will try to courier some out to you. Please be advised there may be a delay in this as couriers are under extreme pressure at the moment with essential deliveries.
What to do if you have an orthodontic emergency
There are a number of ways that you can deal with minor ‘orthodontic emergencies’ at home. Here are some tips:
- 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 our hot-line 027 242 9358 to speak to one of our team who can guide you through a solution. We may ask you to email or send us an image of your braces.
- Tips on sending us photos (video courtesy of Taranaki Orthodontics)
If your issue is deemed to need orthodontic assistance we will make an emergency appointment for you in our Lower Hutt practice. Our on-call orthodontist is available to see cases in which the patient is in severe pain or is experiencing acute infection from an orthodontic appliance. We have stringent infection prevention and control protocols in place for these appointments and will provide guidance to you on the process at the time we make an emergency appointment. Please do understand that this strictly emergency service is guided by regulations and recommendations from the Ministry of Health and is subject to change.
Stay safe everyone.