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Important Information Regarding COVID-19

Dear Orthodontic Family and Friends,

I am writing to let you know that the State of Washington Department of Health and Governor Inslee have enacted a law that makes it illegal to provide orthodontic care until MAY 18th, 2020.  We believe it is in your best interest (and now it is the law) to postpone non-emergency orthodontic appointments to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. If you do have an emergency (something causing pain or discomfort) please call us at (206) 938-9380 and follow the prompts to contact us.

The dental profession is highly regulated when it comes to cross infection, and we at West Seattle Orthodontics have always maintained the highest infection control standards. However, orthodontists and dental nurses (as well as your fellow patients) are especially vulnerable to this particular virus, as we are constantly exposed to a high quantity of aerosol from the mouth, bacteria, viral and saliva particles while in the office.

Due to the high transmission rates of COVID-19 and the absolute need to slow down the spread, the state has mandated that the responsible thing to do is to limit the possible exposure to EVERYONE. Moreover, delaying orthodontic visits for a few weeks or so is highly unlikely to cause any significant harm if you are brushing your teeth regularly and following the instructions summarized below. These instructions are for those under treatment using fixed braces, removable braces, Invisalign, or retainers:

  • Excellent oral hygiene is essential.
  • Avoid consuming sweetened beverages or foods.
  • Minimize consuming hard foods.
  • Follow the instructions that we have provided to you, such as the wear of elastics, brushing your teeth, using aligners, etc.
  • For those wearing Invisalign appliances, we ask that you slow the rate that you are changing your aligners to 2 weeks during this time. It may become necessary to hold at your last stage, so please handle your aligners gently.
  • If you are using Invisalign appliances and an attachment comes off, please continue wearing your aligners and progress as usual. We will address the lost attachment at your next appointment.
  • For those who have finished their treatment and are wearing retainers, follow the instructions already provided in your last visit regarding the wear times of your retainers.
  • If you have an orthodontic emergency (something is causing pain or discomfort), there are some things that you can do to manage some of these emergencies yourself. Please check out at-home care here.
  • If you have an emergency that requires my attention, then it will be best to call us at (206) 938-9380 and follow the prompts to contact me.
  • Scheduling questions can be answered by administrative staff that will be in the office each day.

In the meantime, my advice is to avoid or minimize visits until the virus spread slows down. If you have any questions or if you have an emergency, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

We are all looking forward to resuming our normal schedule when this hiatus has reached its conclusion.  We are all terribly sorry for the inconvenience, but in the best interests of ALL OF OUR HEALTH, we are following the guidelines set forth by the CDC, American Dental Association, Washington State Dental Association and the American Association of Orthodontists to help prevent the spread of COVID -19.

Stay healthy, wash your hands, and brush and floss!

Best wishes,

Dr. Heidi K. Horwitz, Jennifer, Toni, Tracy, Christel, and Pam

West Seattle Orthodontics