Right now, life looks quite a bit different than it did even a month or two ago. Guidelines and recommendations are changing at a fast pace, and many of us are navigating business closures, social distancing, and safer-at-home orders. If you’re a current patient, you may be wondering how all of these unforeseen changes will affect your treatment plan. Or maybe you’d recently decided to take the leap towards a healthier smile, but now you’re not sure if that’s even a possibility.
Here at Periago Orthodontics, we’re embracing new ways to stay connected, including virtual technology. Our offices may be closed temporarily, but we’re still able to meet your orthodontic needs with visits and consultations conducted completely online! This option means we can continue doing our part to flatten the curve while meeting you wherever you are on your orthodontic journey. If you’re ready to learn more about how we’re implementing these virtual services, keep reading below!
The ins and outs of virtual visits and consultations
Telemedicine is still relatively new in many areas, and if you’ve never used it before, you may not be sure exactly what to expect from virtual visits. The process is actually really simple and very user-friendly!
Your first stop will be here for virtual checkup visits and here for virtual initial consultations. You’ll follow the prompts in the page that opens. Once you submit your photos and personal information, Dr. Periago will review them along with any notes you’ve included. She will then reach out to you with her recommendations and input.
Tips on how to take the best photos
Taking clear photos that give Dr. Periago a good view of your mouth can seem daunting if you haven’t ever done anything like it before. There’s no need to stress over it, though! You can use your fingers or spoons, and employ a timer or have a family member take the photos. We’ve posted examples of all the angles we need on the Virtual Consult page, and there’s also a link to a helpful short video that will give you all the information you need to take the best shots possible.
If you wear elastics currently, remember that these are an essential part of your treatment plan. When you take your photos, put your elastics on your braces for the two side shots. This will allow Dr. Periago to check that you’re wearing them properly and provide any feedback if needed.
Adopting virtual technology at Periago Orthodontics
When so many mandated closures and “safer at home” orders were issued across the country recently, it became a top priority for orthodontists to find new ways to connect with current and future patients. By switching over to a virtual system, Dr. Periago is able to meet the orthodontic needs of our community while still practicing social distancing. Virtual technology means our office is able to conduct check-in “visits” as well as new patient consultations, so we can keep your treatment plan on track or help you take the first steps towards a new smile!
Virtual visits can also be very beneficial if you’re worried about experiencing an orthodontic emergency while our offices are closed. While we’re still able to treat emergency cases during this time, you may not be clear on what exactly qualifies. A virtual appointment can take the guesswork out of that by giving you the chance to relay your concerns to Dr. Periago along with photos of any problems you’re having with your teeth or appliance. In turn, she’ll be able to give you expert guidance on whether you need to come in or if it’s something that can be treated at home.
Similarly, a video conference can be an excellent solution if you’re experiencing minor discomfort or have any concerns about your treatment plan. In many of these situations, we can assess any damage and make suggestions with a virtual visit alone. Many non-emergencies can be treated from the comfort of home, including irritation, loose brackets, or wires that are poking into the sensitive tissue of your cheeks or gums. Dr. Periago will be happy to walk you through the available home remedies! If you do have a genuine emergency, however, don’t worry—we will be able to schedule a visit for you in our office.
Minimizing your risk factors
When it comes to orthodontic emergencies, many are unavoidable, but there are still several things you can do to minimize your overall risk of one occurring. If you’re a current orthodontic patient, make sure you’re following all recommendations and taking good care of your smile and your appliance. You can do this by:
- avoiding any foods that are sticky or crunchy if you’re in braces, as these can bend the brackets or warp the wires
- brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time, preferably after eating and before bed
- flossing every night before bed
- using tools like ortho picks, interdental brushes, and water flossers if you need extra help cleaning areas that are hard to reach
- wearing a mouthguard if you’re still practicing sports at home
- informing our office of any loose or broken wires or brackets so we can advise you on the next steps you need to take
- keeping all Invisalign aligners clean and safe by brushing them gently and putting them in a case when they’re not in your mouth
Keep your smile healthy from home with Periago Orthodontics
There’s no doubt that this is a time of adjustment for all of us. The good news is, you can count on Periago Orthodontics to provide you with the best possible care, even if it is from afar! With virtual visits and consultations, you can still work towards the healthy smile you desire without leaving home.
Whether you’re already a Periago Orthodontics patient or you’re just looking to take the first step in your orthodontic journey, we’re here to help! We’re committed to remaining accessible while keeping the health and safety of our staff, patients, and community our top priority. Virtual technology is an innovative way to do this, and we’re excited to get started!