ORTHODONTIC Frequently Asked Questions

To our orthodontic patients:

We want you to know that through this unprecedented time, we are “virtually” here for you, and are available via text messaging, FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or our social media platforms including Facebook.
If you are interested in our Virtual Smile Assessment for free consultation, please contact us. 

We are still currently open only for urgent and emergency visits. We will contact you once we have a reopening date to schedule for your check-ups. 
Please Call or Text: Arlington Center for Dentistry Phone Number (703) 527-3888.

Below are some “Frequently Asked Questions” we have received concerning your orthodontic treatment. 

Will the Mandated Closures Affect My Treatment Time?

We know part of successful orthodontic treatment is showing up for your appointments. Since that’s not an option under these unusual circumstances, it’s okay. Don’t panic. Our practice uses the highest technology appliances and wires that stay active for a very long period of time. Though your appointments are scheduled out to achieve maximum success, this hiccup shouldn’t have much of an impact on your overall treatment plan. The appliances are still working and your treatment is continuing! Once we re-open, we are going to work hard to keep you on track to finish in a timely manner. You can help keep treatment moving forward by avoiding hard and sticky foods and keeping your teeth clean. 

Patients with Invisalign

Continue wearing your aligners as instructed. If you are changing your trays weekly or every 10 days, we would suggest you start to change them every 2 weeks until we are able to see you again. After finishing your last aligner, you may wear it at night only if you wish (but don’t stop wearing completely). This will maintain the position of your teeth until next visit.

If an attachment should loosen or break, continue to wear your trays. The rest of the system is still working.

NOTE: Many patients have asked if it is possible to pick up their next set of aligner trays. Assuming we are able to get into the office, we will be more than happy to make arrangements. We could either send them to you via UPS (shipping fee apply), or arrange a pickup at the office. Please contact us via text message to discuss.

Patients with braces

Brush and Floss! Fluoride rinse every night. Be extra diligent about food choices to prevent breakage. Continue treatment as directed until we are able to see you again. 

If you have a loose brace

If a bracket is loose and sliding on the wire, attempt to gently remove it by removing the small colored elastic with a clean pair of tweezers. If it cannot be removed and is causing irritation, place a small piece of wax over the bracket to act as a cushion. 

If your wire is poking

For a poking wire, use the eraser of a new, clean pencil to attempt to tuck it back in. If unable and the area is accessible, use a clean pair of nail clippers to clip the wire and remove the poking piece. Otherwise, place wax to act like a cushion. If it becomes very uncomfortable, please contact us. 

If your wire comes out of the back brace

With clean tweezers, you can attempt to replace the wire into the back bracket or tube. If you are unable, either use a clean pair of nail clippers to clip the wire behind the last bracket to which it is attached, or cover the poking wire with wax.

Patients wearing rubber bands (elastics)

Continue to wear your elastics as instructed. If you start to run low on your elastics, then start to wear them just when you sleep at night. If you run out of elastics, text us your name and address. We will do our best to get a new pack in the mail for you. Text us if you would like a virtual evaluation of your progress.

Patients with palatal expanders

Turn as instructed, and STOP on the last day. The expander will hold the space until you are able to see us again. If you have any questions or concerns, please text us to schedule a virtual evaluation.

Patients wearing retainers

Continue wearing as instructed at your last visit. If your retainer has cracked, as long as you are comfortable you can still wear them. If you are unable to wear your retainers, or they cause pain, STOP wearing them all together. We will have to wait until we are able to see you again in order to repair them. If your teeth should shift, we will address that when we are advised the practice can open again.

Patients with devices such as thumb sucking habit breaker or lip bumper

Please continue as instructed in your last visit. There is absolutely no harm for extending your next follow up visit. If you have an issue with the device or a breakage, please contact us to help address the issue.

We hope these are helpful and looking forward to seeing everyone real soon!