Due to COVID-19, and in compliance with Alabama Dental Association and State Health Office regulations, Carter Orthodontics will be closed until further notice. At present, we plan to reopen on Monday, April 21, but will keep you updated as circumstances unfold. Once the Alabama Dental Association permits us to reopen you will be contacted by a member of our team to reschedule any missed appointments.
During this time we will be available Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to receive and return phone call. If you not receive an answer please leave a voicemail and we will be sure to call you back as soon as possible.
As always, in the event of an emergency we will be here to assist you. Since we will not have full staff in our office, please call one of our office locations to schedule a time for your emergency visit. If you do not receive an answer but need immediate attention please call 256-717-8494
At-Home Solutions for "Emergencies"
Many orthodontics “emergencies” aren’t emergencies in the true sense of the word, but rather discomforts that need attention. Fortunately many of these can be addressed at home through simple measures. Below are a few home remedies for addressing the most common orthodontic “emergencies”.
- Brackets occasionally come lose and can be a cause for concern. However, loose brackets rarely need immediate attention. If the loose bracket has a color attaching it to the wire no need to worry; although you may feel the bracket moving with your tongue or when eating it is ok and can be repaired at a future date. However, if the loose bracket is on a very back tooth it may result in a wire poke and discomfort. In this situation use a pair of sterilized nail clippers to clip the wire in front of the loose bracket. This will allow you to simultaneously remove both the bracket the long wire causing discomfort. If this does not work and you need to schedule an appointment call our office.
- Wire pokes come in different forms, but the most common ways to address the pesky wire is to place wax on it, “clip it”, or “bend it”.
- Wax – The wax you were given on the day your braces were placed can be a big help addressing wire pokes. To place wax, dry your mouth as much as possible, use your fingers to roll the wax to the size of a small green pea, then cover the poking wire or bracket with wax by pressing it firmly onto the offending area. If you run out of wax and need more feel free to call our office and we will mail it to you.
- Clip It – To clip a wire, pull you cheek back and use a pair of sterilized nail clippers to snip the end of the wire causing discomfort.
- Bend it – Instead of clipping the wire use a pencil eraser to gently push the wire away from your cheek. This places a bend in the wire and may be easier than “clipping” if the wire poke is in the back of your mouth.
- Ulcers occasionally form on lips and cheeks during orthodontic treatment, especially during the weeks immediately following bonding. If you can locate the area causing the ulcer, often a bracket or wire, use wax to cover it. A warm salt-water rinse can also help the area heal faster. Some patients are naturally prone to develop more ulcers than others. In these situations magic mouthwash may be beneficial to provide additional comfort. (If you feel like this is you, call Dr. Carter to discuss further.)
Broken Attachment (Invisalign Patients)
- If an attachment comes loose continue to wear your current aligner until we are able to see you in the office to place a new one. Continuing to progress through aligners may result in the tooth with the missing attachment being “left behind” and lead to less than ideal results.
Bent Wire/Wire out of Bracket
- If you have eaten something that has moved the wire out of place get a pair of thin tipped tweezers, disinfect the tips, and try to grab the end of the wire and place it back in the bracket slot. If the wire is still in the slot, but simply bowed out towards your cheek, use your finger to gently push the bowed part of the wire back into place. If this does not work, use a pair of sterilized nail clippers to snip the offending wire and remove it.
- If you have a question regarding a situation not listed here don’t hesitate to call our office and Dr. Carter or one of our amazing clinic team will walk you through the best way to address it.
New Protocol for In-Office Visits
Our priority remains the safety of our staff, patients, and community. Therefore, a special protocol will be in place in our office over the coming weeks to minimize the risk of unknowingly transferring COVID-19 to our staff, patients, and family members. It will be as follows:
- Once you arrive for an appointment, please call us to check-in and wait in your car.
- We will come to the door to escort you inside to the dental chair. Please be prepared to have your temperature taken and sign a questionnaire about your current health status. Please avoid touching doorknobs and faucet handles during your visit.
- ALL family and friends that have come with you today MUST wait in the car. Only one parent is allowed to come in with a minor, but the parent must stay in the room with the patient at all times.
- Our restroom and waiting room is CLOSED to the public and patients at this time.
I wish you all the best during this unique time. All of us at Carter Orthodontics are thinking about you and will be here for you any way we can help. Stay safe.
- Dr. Carter