Even though both Shaw Orthodontics offices are open, there are many reasons for some patients to be reluctant to come into our office. The health and safety of our team and patients is our top priority, and we understand that all of our patients are in different situations and have various concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to follow all of the recommendations presented by the CDC, and we’re doing the same. We’ve made some important changes to how we handle appointments, such as limiting the number of patients in the office, health screenings, and additional sanitation measures. We’re doing everything we can to keep our office safe. But if you don’t feel comfortable coming in to see us, are sick or have a sick family member, or in the midst of all of the uncertainty don’t want the stress of an additional obligation, we understand! That’s why we will continue to offer virtual visits and consultations, so you can start or continue your smile from the comfort of your home.
How Virtual Consultations Work
To get started, take some pictures of your smile. Make sure you follow all of the instructions on our virtual consultation page. We’ve provided examples of the types of photos that you should be taking. We also have a video with some helpful tips. Then, give us some information about your smile goals.
Here are some additional tips to help you take a great photo:
- Have someone else take your photo or use the self-timer on your camera to get the best angle.
- Make sure the flash is turned on.
- Keep your photos close and only photograph your teeth and mouth.
- Try to keep the muscles around your mouth relaxed.
- Keep your teeth together and bite down hard. This is the best way to make sure the pictures are accurate.
Dr. Shaw will examine the photos of your teeth and decide what kind of treatment is best for your smile goals and treatment needs. We offer traditional metal braces, clear braces, and Invisalign treatment to patients of any age.
Our financial coordinator will then determine the cost of your treatment based on the treatment plan set by Dr. Shaw. We’re committed to providing treatment that fits your budget. We accept most major insurance plans and offer payment plans. We’ll help you determine a financial plan that fits your lifestyle. Finally, we’ll create a plan for your next steps once we can see you in the office. Since the situation is changing rapidly, we appreciate your understanding and cooperation as plans may potentially change.
Keep Your Smile On Track With Virtual Visits
Current patients don’t have to worry about losing any treatment on their treatment progress, even if they aren’t able to come into our office yet. Virtual visits allow us to keep an eye on your teeth and appliances. Dr. Shaw will be able to catch any developing problems and suggest adjustments you can make at home.
First, you’ll take pictures of every angle of your teeth and provide some information about yourself and your treatment. On our virtual visits page, we’ve provided examples of the types of photos that you should be taking. We also have a video with some helpful tips. If you wear elastics, make sure you’re wearing them when you take the photos to see if there are any issues or changes you need to make.
Taking Care of Your Teeth and Appliances
As always, it’s important to continue to take care of your mouth with an excellent oral hygiene routine. This is one of the most significant things you can do to maintain your smile at home. Even though we’re open, we may not be able to schedule appointments as quickly as before. Here are some tips to help you handle any minor issues that may arise before we can see you.
Irritation and Discomfort
It’s not unusual to feel some discomfort after your braces or retainer are put on or adjusted, and it shouldn’t last very long. However, eating can still be uncomfortable.
Sometimes braces can also irritate your mouth, especially when you’re eating. You can use a small ball of orthodontic relief wax to cover the problem area. No need to worry about swallowing the wax, because it’s harmless.
Some people are more prone to mouth sores, and even though your braces can’t cause them, they can make an existing problem worse. If you notice a patch of sores on your cheeks, lips, or tongue, apply some topical anesthetic to the sore with a cotton swab, or apply orthodontic wax to the part of your braces affecting the problem.
Loose or broken brackets, bands, or wires
Your brackets attach to your teeth and are generally attached to the center of the tooth. The bracket may have been knocked off-center because you’ve eaten forbidden food, or your mouth has sustained an impact. If the bracket is in an uncomfortable position, use a cotton swab or a pencil eraser to move it into a more comfortable position. You can also use sterile tweezers to slide the bracket along the wire until it is between two teeth. Don’t attach any elastics to a broken part of your braces.
Benefits of Checking in Virtually
Of course, the most significant benefit of virtual visits and consultations is the safety and convenience they provide. By choosing a virtual visit for things like retainer checks, observation appointments, or minor concerns, you’re helping us limit the number of people coming in and out of our office, which keeps everyone healthy. It allows us to prioritize appointments that must be done in person and leave time to treat emergencies safely.
Socially Distanced, Virtually Connected
At Shaw Orthodontics, our goal is to continue to support our future and current patients in every way that we can. As our community responds to changes in the COVID-19 situation. By offering virtual consultation and taking precautions in our offices for in-office appointments, we can prioritize both your smile and your safety as we do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities. The virtual options link you, Dr. Shaw, and our team so we can continue to work on your smile as a team no matter what your unique needs are.