Following NHS advice to stop all orthodontic treatment due to COVID-19 we are cancelling all appointments until further notice.

Routine advice can be obtained initially by reading the commonly asked questions (see below). If you are still concerned you can contact us by email at ortho.riverside@gmail.com. We will get back to you. Promise.

A limited broken brace advice line will be open daily only for genuine acute orthodontic emergencies eg sharp edges or wires that are causing a lot of pain and trauma to soft tissues and cannot otherwise be managed. At present some emergencies may be seen at our practice but this may change according to Health Board advice. Please call the practice on 0151 7085117. You will be directed so you can be triaged by a member of our team to establish if you need to be seen. We are available during normal working hours and if we do not answer we will get back to you as soon as possible if you leave your name and number.

Please only ring us if you have an emergency.

Once our normal service resumes we will be in contact with you to arrange ongoing treatment. If you are wearing elastic bands that you put on and replace yourself please only wear them at night time. If you run out of elastics, stop wearing them.

Please don’t be alarmed by this change of events. Your brace is effectively “parked safely” so please keep your teeth clean and we will let you know when we are ready to “restart the engine.”

Common Questions:

Why has the practice closed?

The practice has closed as the Health Board has decided this is how best we can protect the staff and public during this challenging time. Also, it is possible our clinicians may be redeployed to other areas of the NHS to assist the fight against the virus and we want to be available to help.

I have a brace/retainer problem. How can I solve this at home?

Please be reassured that it is very rare to have a true emergency in orthodontics. If you have a bracket that has broken off or loose, we will fix it at your next appointment. If your brace is rubbing you can get either ‘Iglu’ or orthodontic wax from Amazon. The wax covering of a Baby-Bel or Edam cheese can make a good alternative to orthodontic wax if something feels scratchy. Just dry the area and press it over the site that is rubbing. If the wire is digging in, you can cut it with nail clippers. Cracked retainers should be worn until we can reopen. For lost retainers you could purchase a cheap self-moulding gum shield to wear at nights to hold things.

Will you still be open for emergencies?

Yes, but only for telephone advice. If you have a problem with your retainer or part of your brace is causing pain or an inhalation risk, and you have tried the above measures, then contact us in the usual way on 0151 7085117. We can be contacted by phone throughout our normal working hours. We will advise you how to solve your problem at home. A selfie sent to the practice e-mail may be helpful. Please note that a broken bracket is not an emergency and can wait until the practice re-opens. For severe dental emergencies outside normal hours, please contact NHS out of hours on 0161 476 9651.

If you have had symptoms of the virus such as cough and/or fever and have a dental emergency, then please self-isolate and contact NHS 111 for advice.

How do I contact you?

If you have an emergency, and have tried to solve the problem yourself without success, you can contact us on our usual practice number 0151 7085117. We will be available by phone during our normal working hours. You could send an email to the practice with some photos and we may be able to provide further advice. For up to date information see our website www.greenacreortho.co.uk. Our policy is checked daily based on the public health advice we receive.

What is a brace/retainer emergency?

If part of the brace is causing pain, or you are worried you may swallow or breathe it in, then please contact us. Another example would be a lost or broken retainer which no longer fits. If you are not sure, you can call us for advice. A broken/loose bracket which is still attached to the wire is not an emergency and can wait.

I’ve got a loose bracket, should I call you?

No, please see the previous answer.

When will you open again?

We don’t know. We are preparing for the closure to run to the end of June 2020, but this could be sooner or later depending on the public health advice we receive. We will contact you as soon as possible when we have this information available.

My appointment has been cancelled. When will I be seen?

We will be contacting patients with existing appointments to inform them of the cancellation. Unfortunately, we cannot make another appointment at this stage. We will contact you as soon as we know the date we can re-open. Appointments will be sent out by post and prioritised according to clinical need. We thank you for your understanding in this matter.

The new appointment I’ve been sent isn’t convenient, what should I do?

When we re-open, you can contact us by telephone to rearrange it. Please be patient with us as our phone may be very busy during this time. We will be operating a skeleton staff and want to prioritise the phone for emergencies. We will get back to you as soon as we can.

Won’t this affect my brace treatment?

There will inevitably be a delay in the progress of your treatment. However, most appliances are safe and stable to leave for many months if a good standard of toothbrushing is well maintained. Our clinicians have checked the clinical notes progress of everyone affected to make sure.

What about the elastics I’m wearing?

You should continue wearing your elastics just for evenings and night-time. This puts the brace in “park mode”. If you have been told by the clinician to monitor the front bite and you notice it getting worse, then contact the practice for advice. It would be helpful if you took a selfie of the bite and emailed it to us too.

My brace is removable. Should I still wear it?

Yes. You should continue wearing your removable brace as instructed.

I’ve been told to turn the key of my removable brace. Should I still do this?

No. You should stop doing this.

What about my retainers?

Keep wearing your retainers as you have been advised.

I’ve broken/lost my brace or retainer. What should I do?

You should call the practice for advice.

I was due to be seen for a first appointment. Will I go back on the waiting list?

No. Your appointment will simply be rearranged and prioritised accordingly.

I’ve had symptoms of the virus and am having brace/retainer problems. What should I do?

DO NOT COME TO THE PRACTICE. Self-isolate and call NHS 111

I’ve had teeth out but no brace fitted. What should I do?

Do not worry. There is usually no problem with the delay. If you notice the spaces closing up a lot (e.g. half of the original space) then contact us for advice. Selfies of the teeth emailed to us would be helpful for this.

I’m due to have teeth out at my dentist, should I still go?

You should delay getting your teeth out, if you have not already had some out. Please see the above answer.

I was due to have my brace off. Do I have to wait?

Yes. We know this is very disappointing, but we feel this is in the best health interests of staff, patients and public alike. If you have special concerns, please e-mail the practice.

I’ve finished self-isolation. Can I come in?

No. Until we have more advice, if you have an emergency please contact NHS 111.