Like many Kiwi businesses, we at Turner Lim moved into lockdown on Wednesday the 25th of March. What does this mean for us? How can you cope over the coming weeks? We explain in this post.
Holding the fort
First off, we are keeping busy. All of us are working remotely and spending lots of time in Zoom and What’s App meetings. Everything must continue to run efficiently so that we can ‘hit the ground running’ when everything gets back to normal. And, although we’re working fewer hours — many of us have to juggle our time around kids — it’s important for everybody’s wellbeing to stay active and have a sense of purpose.
Free virtual consultations
Our clinic may be closed, but we are determined to be available for our patients. And, thankfully, there is some amazing technology around that allows us to do that.
So, we are now conducting free virtual consultations. Using your smartphone, just take some simple photos of your mouth and teeth (watch this video), and send them to us at clinic@turnerlim. If you’re a NEW PATIENT, send your photos to us using SmileMate on our website (more information).
By sending in your ‘teeth selfies,’ you’ll enable us to remotely see your progress and modify your plan to ensure your progress continues.
What you can do during lockdown
It is super important that you take extra care of your braces because, at the moment, we can’t fix or replace anything.
- Wear your appliances as recommended. If you have any doubts, please contact us via email.
- Only eat recommended foods. Avoid tough-to-bite fruit, like apples; chewy sweets, like toffee and bubble gum; or other foods, like nuts, carrots and corn chips. For more information about looking after your braces, read this post.
- Be careful to not lose your retainers. As mentioned, we are unable to provide replacements.
Do you have an emergency?
At the moment, we are thinking laterally about how to be available to our patients. So, we will take significant consideration on how to manage emergencies.
Don’t forget to brush and floss. Remember that it’s essential that you brush your teeth two to three times a day for at least two minutes at a time. And, floss for a couple of minutes each time that you brush — before or after is okay.
Like with other things that test us in life, positives will come out of the covid-19 pandemic. For example, have you seen how our environment is recovering? Also, in our business going forward, we will be working smarter and carrying out more virtual consultations. Doing so will mean that we will be able to operate more efficiently, and many of our patients won’t have to waste time in traffic getting to appointments. That’s got to be a good thing.
Finally, please look after yourself and stay within the government’s guidelines. The sooner we beat this virus, the sooner we start enjoying the ‘new normal.
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Are you trying to work out how to fit orthodontic treatment into your already busy lifestyle? Now, you can keep track of your treatment progress anywhere, anytime.
Dental Monitoring is the answer!
Turner Lim Orthodontics has incorporated Dental Monitoring technology into our practice to improve the patient experience, reduce the number of appointments and overall treatment duration. Dental Monitoring is the world’s first smartphone-based monitoring solution in orthodontic care.
With Dental Monitoring your orthodontist can remotely analyse and oversee the progress of your orthodontic treatment using videos taken through the smartphone app. Using your smartphone, you can now capture tooth movements in real-time and communicate them directly to our staff. This can help us guide your treatment remotely, resulting in faster more efficient orthodontic treatment with fewer office appointments required.
What is dental monitoring?
Dental monitoring is the latest in orthodontic technology, making it easier for patients to enjoy the benefits of Invisalign. The software connects to an app on your smart phone which prompts you to take photos of your teeth then sends them to us at the clinic. We monitor the movement of your teeth by checking these images and lining them up with your treatment plan. If your teeth are moving as they should, you don’t need to come in and see us!
What are the benefits of dental monitoring?
- Dental Monitoring makes it easier to fit orthodontic treatment into your schedule as fewer office appointments are required.
- With regular monitoring, the app ensures that you are tracking on time with your treatment so we can achieve the smile you deserve.
- You can stay in contact with us all the time! With Dental Monitoring you are able to message us via the app, so whenever you have any concerns, you just need to send us a message!
Who can use dental monitoring?
At Turner Lim Orthodontists, we offer Dental Monitoring to all our Invisalign and Invisalign Teen patients.
It’s that time of year again — Christmas! If you wear dental braces, there are a few things to be mindful of to ensure nothing spoils your holiday fun.
Be careful about what you eat
Food plays a big part during the holidays. You’ll be happy to learn that you can eat most things if you chop them into small pieces. However, if you can’t squash something between your fingers and thumb, STAY AWAY.
Chewing ice cubes, for example, is a bad idea. Here are some other foods to avoid:
- Fruit that is tough to bite, like apples.
- Chewy sweets, like bubble gum, toffee and fruit bursts.
- Anything with bones.
- Nuts, carrots and corn on the cob.
- Corn chips and bread or pizza crusts.
Take care of your braces
It’s easy to slip out of your usual oral hygiene routine during the holidays — put together a holiday hygiene kit that includes a travel toothbrush, dental floss and orthodontic wax.
It’s essential to brush your teeth two to three times a day for at least two minutes per session. Divide this time equally between the upper right and left sides and the lower left and right sides of your mouth. To ensure you don’t forget to care for your teeth, make sure that you brush soon after brekkie and dinner. Also, clean your teeth straight after eating for the last time at night — you probably won’t do a great job if you wait too long. Actually, if you can, try to avoid eating too late at night; during this time, saliva levels decrease, and acid levels increase in the mouth and just brushing isn’t enough to get rid of them.
It’s best to floss for a couple of minutes every time that you brush your teeth — either before or after. Floss is known as an interdental cleaner. It enables you to reach between your teeth and between your teeth and the tops of your gums. Superfloss and floss threaders are good, and you can get them from our clinic.
Elastics and aligners
Remember to wear your elastics and aligners. If you wear end up wearing them for fewer than 20 hours a day, add another day to the sequence.
Be careful with your retainer while swimming — especially at the beach. Rather than risking losing your retainer, put it safely in a box, and refit it as soon as you can.
We close at lunchtime on the 23rd of December and will be back on the 13th of January 2020.
How to handle a problem
If you’d just had your braces fitted, your orthodontist should have checked that the wires are turned out of the way. However, if a wire distorts, maybe you’ve eaten something hard or sticky, you should be able to push it back into place using the eraser end of a pencil. If that doesn’t work, use orthodontic wax to create a cushion to protect the side of your mouth. Silicon earplugs will also do the trick. Never attempt to cut the wire — you might swallow a piece and breathe it into your lungs. For serious issues over Christmas, please phone us for instructions on our answerphone.
From the team at Turner Lim Orthodontists, take care, and we wish you a very merry Xmas and a happy New Year.
Trying to keep your braces clean? You’ll know what I mean by saying that the wires, rubber bands and springs on your braces are like magnets for food and plaque. If you don’t brush away the bits of food stuck in your braces, your teeth can become stained.
This post includes:
• tips for flossing and brushing
• foods to avoid
• playing sport with braces
• maintenance tips.
If you find this useful, please share. I also welcome your comments.
1. Flossing and brushing
I find Superfloss makes flossing much easier. You can get Superfloss from us at the clinic or from most good pharmacies. Alternatively, some people prefer to use floss threaders, which you can also get from us.
Push the end of the floss through the space between the main arch wire and upper part of the tooth closest to the gum. Work in a gentle back-and-forth motion between the two teeth — don’t use too much force around the arch wire. Products like the Airflosser are also very good.
It’s important to brush at least two to three times a day.
Using a standard soft toothbrush, brush down from the top and up from the bottom of each tooth. An electric toothbrush is also fine.
The key is to spend enough time cleaning. If you don’t have fixed braces, the time it takes to listen to a song on your mobile should be sufficient — listen to two songs if you wear fixed braces.
Once you’ve done this, you can use a proxabrush (otherwise known as a Christmas tree brush) — a brush designed especially for cleaning in between braces. Use several strokes in each direction before moving on to the next space between two braces. Keep going until all your teeth are clean.
2. Foods to avoid
While you can eat most foods if they are chopped into small pieces, there are some you should just stay clear of. Rule of thumb: if you can’t squash it between your fingers and thumb don’t eat it!
• tough-to-bite foods, like apples or bagels
• chewy foods, like toffee, fruit bursts, muesli bars and bubble gum
• corn on the cob, carrots and nuts
• popcorn, corn chips, bread crusts, pizza crusts — anything with bones.
You can make biscuits soft by dipping them in a warm drink.
3. Playing sport
Wearing braces shouldn’t stop you from playing sport. However, if there is a chance that you could get hit in the mouth, wear a specially-designed mouth guard. These days, mouth guards are designed to fit comfortably over braces and will protect the soft tissue inside your mouth.
4. What happens when the bracket or wire breaks?
Loose braces, loose bands or protruding wires don’t often require emergency treatment. So, here are some tips for getting by until you see your orthodontist.
• Loose brackets — use a piece of orthodontic wax to temporarily reattach loose brackets or place some over the bracket to provide cushioning.
• Loose bands — save the bands and schedule an appointment with your orthodontist. They will need to be replaced or re-cemented into place.
• Protruding or broken wire — you can move the wire to a less troublesome position using the eraser end of a pencil. If it won’t budge, put some orthodontist wax on the protruding end. DO NOT attempt to cut the wire. This can cause you to swallow a piece or inhale it into your lungs.
• Loose spacers — if your spacers fall out completely, they will need to be repositioned or replaced.
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