About six months ago, I was thinking about some of the challenges faced by orthodontists on a daily basis. Naturally, there are cases in which the teeth don’t move the way you expect them to, cases where teeth are missing or impacted, and cases with severe crowding of the teeth, all of which can challenge your diagnostic and treatment planning skills, but thankfully, although we do see these things, they are not typically daily issues. It occurred to me that if I could put my finger on the one thing that keeps me up late at night it would be… drum roll please… patients who do not consistently wear their elastics.
Yes, the dreaded elastics. My patients hear me say (over and over and over again) that wearing their elastics consistently, will shorten their time in treatment. Naturally, this is very appealing to someone wearing braces. Get my braces off early? Yes, please! They often start out very gung ho, but as time moves on, life gets busy and they forget… I took them out to eat, I took them out for sports, I took them out to brush… and they never found their way back in.
Since I am still waiting for my magic wand to arrive, I realized that I needed another way. I tried every form of persuasion that I could muster, but the most common answer I got when I asked, why didn’t you wear your elastics wasn’t, “Because I couldn’t be bothered”, but rather “Because I forgot.” Certainly something we can all relate to… Life carries on with or without us, and sometimes things are forgotten… In this case, that something is their elastics.
I consider the final result of every patient in my care to be of the utmost importance. My job is to do everything in my power to give each and every one of them the best result possible. I really felt frustrated by the fact that I wasn’t able to help my patients overcome this hurdle. And then a thought popped into my head… what if there was a app for that???
And now there is! Smile-tastic! is the app that I developed to help patients, who I know are already motivated to shorten their time in treatment, to remember to wear their elastics. The app will send push notifications, reminders if you will, to your phone to help get you over that last hurdle to a great result! I will make the Smile-tastic! app available to my patients at no charge. It is also available at the iTunes store and the Google Play store for a fee.
Typically, elastics are worn 24/7 and are changed day and night. The times that seem the most challenging for patients are immediately after lunch and immediately after school. Reminders will go out four times a day. The 7:00 am and 7:00 pm reminders are designed to help you remember to change them twice a day. The 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm reminders are set up to help you remember to get those elastics back on after lunch and after school.
Let the Smile-tastic! app help get you get the best result possible.
Let’s make you Smile-tastic! today!