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Handling Orthodontic Issues from Home

Handling Orthodontic Issues from Home

Dear Patients,

During this fluid, changing situation, you probably have some questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it might affect your orthodontic treatment. TenBrook Team has put this FAQ together to help you with some of the questions you might have so that you feel comfortable. As always, the team at TenBrook Orthodontics is here to support you and provide you with outstanding care.

What do I do if I have a broken/loose bracket?

This is generally not a problem that needs to be fixed immediately.  If the loose bracket isn’t bothering you or causing pain, then it can stay as it is until we re-open.

We will fix your bracket at your next scheduled appointment by adding time to that visit.

If it’s causing discomfort, please call our office at 1 (877) SMILE-10 and let our call center know. It will be helpful to have the information of where the broken/loose bracket is located and the level of discomfort if any. These pieces of information will aid our call center in how soon the patient needs to be seen.

Please note! The wax given to the patient at the initial bonding appointment can be applied to the area of the broken/loose bracket until the emergency appointment date arrives.

What do I do if I have a wire poking me?

When teeth begin to move, the once engaged wire can shift and begin to poke the back of the cheek.

The wax given to the patient at the initial bonding appointment can be applied to the irritation area.

If your discomfort continues, call 1 (877) SMILE-10 and let our call center know.

Depending on level of discomfort and the patient′s home office we can have you seen and taken care of as soon as possible.

Or try using a pencil eraser; push the poking wire down to alleviate the discomfort.

A bracket is poking out and it is irritating my gums or cheeks.

This is a common situation and will not impact the effectiveness of your treatment! Just use wax given to the patient at the initial bonding appointment, put on top of bracket.

If it’s still an issue, you can call 1 (877) SMILE-10 and we will see you as soon as possible.

I have braces on now but your office is closed. What should I do?

Your braces treatment is still working, even with the disruption of routine. The great thing about Dr.TenBrooks patented T1 Braces is that they continue to work for months and months without adjusting.  Don't worry your teeth will be fine.  Just brush 3-4 times a day, and floss daily. Keeping your teeth clean is the most important thing you can do right now.  Remember to avoid hard foods that could damage your braces.

We will contact all patients to schedule visits as soon as the situation clears with Coronavirus.

Tips to help minimize your discomfort while getting used to the braces:

When pressure is applied to your teeth, it’s normal to feel some tenderness for a few days. The intensity and duration will vary by patient and can be treated with Ibuprofen. Follow the manufacturer’s directions regarding dosages and warnings!  If you are unable to take Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the next best thing.

Salt Water Rinse can be used to cleanse, disinfect and soothe irritated mouth tissue. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in eight ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously.

Wax acts like a Band-aid for your mouth. By placing wax over the bracket (or whatever is irritating your tissue), it “guards” against further discomfort. Be sure to dry the area off before you place the wax over it – the wax sticks much better that way. Use a large enough piece of wax to allow full coverage – the wax sticks to itself, not the braces. Change the wax whenever it falls off, until you no longer need it.

Soft foods will be your best choice for the first few days, until your lips and teeth get used to the new braces. Make sure that you are getting adequate nutrition including all the food groups so that you do not become run down. Pudding, milkshakes, yogurt, scrambled eggs, pancakes and soups are all good choices. Your mouth will tell you when you are ready to eat “normal” foods.

My retainer broke but your office is closed. What should I do?

If you are TenBrook Orthodontics patient and got your teeth scanned with our Itero scanner, we have your scan saved in our cloud database.

Simply call 1 (877) SMILE-10 and we will reorder retainers for you. As soon as we re-open we’ll get you in for a visit to get a new retainer.

What should I do if I run out of Invisalign aligners?

Don’t worry, your progress will not be seriously impacted by a short-term interruption. Use your last pair of aligners at night only until we re-open and can bring you in for an appointment. Your teeth will not start to shift back as long as you wear your most recent aligners at night.

I lost my Invisalign aligners.

Please call 1 (877) SMILE-10 and let us know. We’ll bring you in when we re-open to fit you with a new pair and get your treatment back on track.

My attachment/button broke.

If your broken attachment does not interfere with wearing your aligners, then continue wearing as prescribed and we can fix the attachment at a later date. If a button breaks, stop wearing your rubber bands and continue wearing aligners as prescribed. Your aligners will still work.

Can my new aligners be shipped to me?

In certain cases, we may be able to ship new aligners to your home. Please texts us your pictures or use our virtual consult tool, so we can determine if you may qualify for shipped aligners remotely.

I feel my teeth shifting and I’m concerned.

Please call 1 (877) SMILE-10  and let us know. As soon as  we re-open we’ll get you in for an evaluation. While an interruption of orthodontic care is not ideal, a short-term break will not cause any lasting damage to your teeth, and will simply pause your progress.

Is it normal for me to have gaps in my teeth after getting an RPE (palatal expander)?

Yes. The palatal expanders are for some patients the first step in orthodontic treatment before we can start braces. As it is expanding the palate it creates space, which may result in gaps in the teeth.

What should I do if I run out of rubber bands?

Finish out the remaining rubber bands normally and then stop; don’t reuse bands. Your treatment will still progress without them.

I want to start treatment but your office is closed.

We are still accepting new patients! You have two options:

  1. Call our main office line: 877-SMILE10 and a representative will schedule a future appointment for you.
  2. Schedule a secure video conference, where you can meet a dental professional, discuss treatment options, and begin paperwork.

I have questions about my payments or insurance.

To reach one of our insurance and financial specialists, call call 1 (877) SMILE-10 and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

If I lose my insurance due to unexpected job loss, what should I do?

TenBrook Orthodontics is committed to helping all our patients afford braces and Invisalign. We will work with you to ensure continuity of orthodontic care, including lowered monthly payments, assistance with insurance, and grace periods while you adjust your financial situation. We are dedicated to the communities we serve, and we understand this is an uncertain time for many families.

When will your closed offices re-open?

We are closely monitoring the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the American Dental Association (ADA), and the New Jersey Dental Association.  The current guidelines indicate it is advised to close offices for a minimum of two weeks for any non-essential dental appointments.

We will re-open our closed offices as soon as it is safe and responsible to do so. Due to uncertainty around the Coronavirus situation, we can’t say exactly when that will be, but we will continue to update patients with any new information.

If you have any questions or need immediate assistance, please call 1 (877) SMILE-10 or email:

When will my appointment be re-scheduled?

We have already texted all of our patients informing them about the postponement of their future appointment. Once we are fully opened our office will be calling to reschedule all missed appointments.

As always, our #1 priority is the health and safety of our patients, staff and everyone in our community.

If you have an emergency, questions, or have not received a call related to your appointment... Please call us at 1-877-SMILE10.

I’m experiencing minor orthodontic discomfort, what should I do?

Please call, text or email us. We can remotely evaluate your situation and direct you on the best self-care options. You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office.

Call 1 (877) SMILE-10


I have an orthodontic emergency, what should I do?

If you have an urgent need during this time, such as pain or injury, we will be available for emergency appointments.

Please call 1 (877) SMILE-10 or email us at so we may determine the best course of action for your specific situation. Members of our team are available by phone and email to assist you with any orthodontic needs.

Dear patients,

If you had an appointment scheduled within last couple months, we will contact you as soon as possible to reschedule. This will help us manage the overall appointment calendar in order to best address everyone's needs. Your Doctor is reviewing each patient's treatment status as appointments are rescheduled to minimize the impact this delay will have on your overall treatment time.

If you have an urgent need, such as pain or injury, please text our emergency line at call 1 (877) SMILE-10 so we may determine the best course of action for your specific situation. Members of our team are available by phone and email to assist you with any orthodontic needs.

You can reach us at 877-764-­5310 or email us at

We look forward to seeing you back in our offices soon.


Dr. James TenBrook

TenBrook Orthodontics

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