In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic; in keeping with our priority to maintain the absolute safety of our staff, patients and parents; and, with recommendations from our regulatory body (Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario), we are postponing all non-essential office visits. As such, all previously scheduled appointments until April 1st, or until further notice, are hereby cancelled. The announcement by the RCDSO to immediately stop all non-essential and elective dental procedures was made on March 15, 2020, with the ultimate goal to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This closure is expected to last at least until April 1st, and possibly longer.
The dental profession is highly regulated when it comes to cross-contamination and infection control and we always operate in accordance with all regulations with that respect. However, orthodontists and dental assistants/hygienists are very likely to be vulnerable to this particular virus, as we are exposed to a high quantity of aerosol and saliva particles. Due to its high infectiousness and the absolute need to slow down the spread of this virus, the responsible action is to limit the possible exposure to everyone.
Though this an inconvenience for all involved, delaying orthodontic visits for a few weeks is unlikely to cause any significant harm, as long as you are brushing your teeth regularly, keeping ideal oral hygiene standards and following the instructions which are summarized below. These instructions are for those under active treatment using fixed braces, removable braces, Invisalign, retainers, or in interceptive treatment with an expander. Please follow these instructions to help minimize any potential problems:
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene, including brushing after meals and flossing daily
- Consider purchasing a fluoride rinse from your local pharmacy
- Avoid excessive consumption of sweetened beverages or foods (candies)
- For patients in fixed braces, avoid hard foods
- If you have an expander or other device that requires you to activate it- STOP turning the expander or appliance until we resume normally scheduled visits
- If you are in fixed braces or Invisalign and are using elastics, MOVE TO WEARING ELASTICS ONLY AT NIGHT-TIME until we resume normally scheduled visits
- Follow the instruction already provided at your last visit, such as the pattern of wear of elastics (though moving to night-time only)
- For those who have finished their treatment and are wearing retainers, follow the instructions that were provided at your last visit regarding the wear-time of your retainers
- Consider changing your aligners every 2 or 3 weeks
If you have an emergency that requires our attention, it would be ideal to send us an email along with a picture. Hold your lips apart and ask someone to take a picture of the affected area. For some emergencies, we may arrange a video call to identify the problem(s) and advise you accordingly. In the meantime, the advice is to avoid or minimize emergency visits until the virus spread slows down.
We certainly understand that this closure may delay your treatment. However, we want you to rest assured that we will do our utmost to complete your treatment as expeditiously as possible, as soon as we are able to resume normal operations.
Ultimately, in the face of this global pandemic, it is each and everyone’s responsibility to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.
Dr. Ross Fiore