A "Smart" Elastics Reminder
Patients often demonstrate proper placement of interarch elastics before leaving the office, only to forget the configuration once they get home. This can result in undesirable tooth movement if a patient either places the elastics incorrectly or simply does not comply. Even if the patient contacts the office for instructions, a complicated configuration cannot be reliably described by phone or text.
The widespread use of smartphones makes it easy and convenient to supplement the in-office demonstration with a visual reminder. We take one or two intraoral photographs of the patient with correctly placed elastics, either by using the patient's phone or by using our own camera and then sending the images to the patient's phone (A). Photos are easily transferred with a Bluetooth- enabled device, with the WhatsApp messaging app, or by e-mail. The images should be oriented to match what the patient will see in the mirror.
If a patient doesn't have a smartphone or equivalent electronic gadget, we print color intraoral photographs showing the correct elastics placement (B).
Other types of visual reminders can be sent to smartphones in the same way to reinforce oralhygiene instructions or clarify appliance-specific protocols.