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The Dangers of DIY Braces

DO-IT-YOURSELF PROJECTS can be wonderful ways to explore creativity, build something new, fix something broken, make something better, or simply save a little money. However, as medical experts who care very much about the health of your teeth, we have to draw the line at do-it-yourself braces.

The Alarming Trend of DIY Braces

We’ve noticed a disturbing trend in YouTube videos and social media where enterprising teens attempt to, in true MacGyver fashion, use household items like paper clips, rubber bands, fishing line, earring backs, and dental floss to straighten their teeth as an alternative to professional orthodontic treatment.

If shifting teeth into their proper position were as simple as applying pressure to cause movement, we might be impressed, but it’s much more complex than that. Orthodontists design treatment plans around patients’ overall oral health, growth patterns in the bones and tissues of the face, whether the wisdom teeth pose a potential problem, and more — not just the current position of their teeth.

Damaged Enamel and Root Strangulation

David Campbell is one example of how serious the consequences of DIY teeth-straightening can be. He used rubber bands to try to close the gap between his front teeth. He thought the rubber bands were disappearing at night, but they were actually working their way up into his gums, where they strangled the roots of his teeth. In the end, repairing the damage was more expensive than professional orthodontic treatment would have been.

Another danger is damage to the protective enamel layer on the tooth. Without the right materials and tools that orthodontists use, metal and rubber bands scraping against teeth can wear away the enamel, leaving teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay and temperature sensitivity.

Braces Are a Job for Professionals

We want to be clear: DIY braces are not cool life hacks, they are dangerous. Correcting bad bites and crowded dental arches is a complex and delicate process. Trying to get a straighter smile without the years of training and study to become a dentist, followed by additional years gaining the proper orthodontic specialization, is a recipe for disaster. If you want a straighter smile, leave it to the experts.

A Word from the AAO

At best, these “treatments” will merely be unsuccessful. At worst, they can lead to losing teeth. The American Association of Orthodontics put it best: “Moving teeth is a medical procedure and needs personal supervision by an orthodontist…Moving teeth without a thorough examination of the overall health of the teeth and gums could result in the permanent loss of teeth, which may result in expensive and lifelong dental problems.”

Take good care of your smile!

Top image by Flickr user Many Wonderful Artists used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Impacted Teeth and Orthodontic Treatment

NO TWO SMILES ARE the same, and the teeth that make them don’t always come in at the same rates. Some people get their adult teeth ahead of schedule, others get them late, and a few are left wondering if a tooth got lost on its way out. These are the impacted teeth. Most of the time, wisdom teeth are the ones that end up impacted, but not always.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If there isn’t enough room for an adult tooth to come in, it might remain partially or fully beneath the gums, or even headed in the wrong direction entirely. This happens to a lot of wisdom teeth, and that can mean trouble for the roots of the neighboring molars if they aren’t extracted in time. Impacted wisdom teeth don’t necessarily impact orthodontic treatment.

Other Impacted Teeth

After the wisdom teeth, the most likely teeth to be impacted are the upper canines. This issue can even be genetic. In most cases, only one of the canines will be impacted, but sometimes they both are. Why the upper canines in particular? These are the teeth affected because they come in last after the incisors and premolars that neighbor them, and there isn’t always enough room left for them.

Tooth Impaction Complications

When teeth can’t erupt like they’re supposed to, there can be complications like infections, gum disease, nerve damage, and cavities. Symptoms include bad breath or a persistent bad taste, tenderness and pain around the jaw, jaw and headaches, and swollen gums or lymph nodes. They also leave visible gaps between teeth where the impacted tooth should be.

These symptoms don’t affect everyone with an impacted tooth. If it’s the upper canine, the baby tooth might not ever become loose because the adult tooth isn’t in the right place to push on it. The canine teeth form the “corners” of the smile, in a sense, so this can have a big affect on appearance.

Pulling Impacted Teeth Into Place

Tooth impaction can’t really be prevented, but impacted wisdom teeth can be extracted and impacted canines can often be moved into place with a combination of oral surgery and orthodontic treatment. Dental X-rays will identify the impacted tooth, and then the orthodontist will make a plan for how to go forward.

Don’t Leave a Gap in That Smile!

If you have an impacted canine tooth and haven’t begun orthodontic treatment, we recommend scheduling a consultation. If correction is recommended rather than extraction, people with an impacted canine can expect their treatment to take a little longer than it would otherwise, but they’ll have a complete, straight smile in the end!

Our goal is getting our patients the straight, healthy smiles of their dreams!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Welcome Back!

GREETINGS TO ALL of our wonderful patients! Thank you so much for your patience during this challenging time. We miss you so much and can’t wait to see you and get back to the business of creating your beautiful smiles and changing lives.

We have great news. We will start the reopening process the last week of May. We will be reaching out beginning next week to schedule your appointments.  In a few weeks, everyone should be back on track.

New Safety Protocols

We are asking for your help in keeping everyone safe and on track.  The experts are saying if we become lax in social distancing, hand hygiene, and infection control, we risk an acceleration of the pandemic, so please continue to do a great job at following the rules!

We want to let you know that along these lines, we have some new protocols set in place to protect you and others and do our part to keep COVID-19 in check.

If you feel at all sick or have recently been exposed to someone sick, please let us know prior to your appointment.

At Your Next Visit

When you arrive, please call 916 772 5832, stay in your car, and wait for instructions. Parents, siblings, friends must remain in the car for social distancing purposes only patients may enter the building. We will make sure there are updates; next appointments can be scheduled on the phone.

We will be conducting a brief wellness check and checking your temperature at the door (please avoid hot or cold drinks for 30 minutes before your appointment).

There are 2 new forms you will need to review and sign. We will make these available digitally and it is best if you do this prior to your visit.

We ask you to wear a mask or face covering to and from your appointment.

We will have stations to sanitize your hands at entry and throughout the office; however, we ask that you brush, waterpik/floss, and mouthrinse at home prior to coming to your appointment.

Together, We’re Making a Difference

With a little bit of effort, we should be able to make a big difference in everyone’s safety and ensure positive experiences. Please help. We love our patients and doing what we do for them. Stay the course and let’s focus on getting you that awesome smile and better days ahead!

*Update for siblings, family members, referrals, and new patients: you no longer have to wait for a scheduled in-office consult. With our new virtual consult protocol, you can immediately schedule an online smile assessment and get started right away from the convenience of your own home. A referral from your family dentist is not required.

See You Soon! Dr. Kineret and Team

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We Are Committed to Your Safety!

THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC has been challenging in ways many of us have never experienced and never imagined. Hopefully it’s the last time we have to face this kind of situation, but that doesn’t mean our practice won’t be taking every step to prepare.

Planning Ahead

In a couple of weeks we will be re-opening. Expect to see many changes geared towards our first and foremost commitment which has always been a safe and positive experience for our highly valued patients. Being prepared is part of staying positive!

At your next visit you can look forward to the following:

  • Increased levels of protection: temperature and health screening of patients and staff, face shields, N-95 respirators, and level 2,3 surgical masks, gloves, over coats, and gowns.
  • Custom plexiglass sneeze guards and patient privacy barriers.
  • New check-in system for enhanced social distancing.
  • Increased safety training for our team.
  • New! Virtual Consultations in the comfort of your own home for new patients, mid-treatment progress consults, and case completion.

We’re Always Looking for Ways to Serve Our Patients

Our mission as a practice is to always be ready to help our patients with their orthodontic needs, and sometimes that means making a few changes.

The one thing that will never change is how much we love our patients.

See you soon. We miss you and can’t wait to catch up!

Team Kineret

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Our Patients Are Always Our Top Priority!

This year has been pretty crazy and many people continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. We want to help however we can.

One way we’re doing that is by continuing our commitment to offer access to care with customized payment plans for all.  Our goal has always been to accommodate even the most strained family budgets—and now in these challenging times it is more important than ever.

Patients First

If you know of anyone who needs help getting that beautiful straight smile and very flexible financing, please send them our way.  They’ll be glad you sent them and we’ll appreciate it too.

We want to help as many people in the community as we can! Remember a referral by the family dentist is not necessary-most of our patients are referred by friends, family members, and co-workers.

Dr. KineretSo many people have had to make personal sacrifices during this pandemic, and we want to make sure that none of our patients have to sacrifice their dental health. So please keep up with your twice-daily brushing, water-pik, and daily flossing-prevention works and always saves time and money in the dental chair!

We are putting the finishing touches on our advanced levels of safety and protection

and should be reopening in soon-please continue to monitor your email and our website and social media for updates.

Miss you a ton and we can’t wait to see you!

 Team Kineret

 The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Progress on a COVID-19 Vaccine!

Great news recently appeared that I am very excited to share — please pass this on to your friends and family!

According to a post on 4.30.2020 by Sebastian Siebt, a vaccine against COVID-19 developed at Oxford University, UK has shown extremely positive results when tested on macaque monkeys. 

These animals are very close in genetic makeup to humans, which suggests the vaccine could work similarly on us. The scientists working on the vaccine say it could be ready as soon as September of this year.

The scientific name for the vaccine is ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 and it has just shot ahead to become the most promising potential vaccine against the novel coronavirus. British drug maker AstraZeneca said it would help Oxford develop, produce, and distribute the vaccine. The partnership hopes to produce 100 million doses by the end of the year!

The first good news came last week from a laboratory in Montana, where six rhesus macaques, who received a dose of the British vaccine last month, did not contract COVID-19 after being exposed to it. Other monkeys who had not been vaccinated caught the virus and fell ill.

Morgane Bomsel, a molecular biologist working on COVID-19 at the Cochin Institute in Paris, considers the results very encouraging, but warns against celebrating too soon as results have not yet been scientifically reviewed and published. 

Meanwhile, work on the ChAdOx1 nCov-19 vaccine is moving ahead quickly in Britain. On April 24, the Oxford vaccine was the first in Europe to enter the human trial stage, with 1,110 healthy volunteers recruited for the tests.

Next Steps in Vaccine Development

It is important to ensure that the vaccine is not toxic for the human body; before checking whether it protects from COVID-19, the researchers first need to guarantee that it is not dangerous.

The next step is to “take samples from the subjects to check for the presence of antibodies and the effectiveness of the vaccine against the coronavirus.”

If the trial produces positive results, millions of doses of ChAdOx1 nCov-19 could be available as early as September, Oxford researchers told the New York Times, months ahead of other known efforts. Typically, it takes about 18 months, so that is very fast!

The Oxford scientists might be able to work at record speed because this vaccine isn’t totally new. The researchers used a technological platform with which they already have quite a lot of experience.

The core of the vaccine, ChAdOx1, is an adenovirus that belongs to a family of viruses that have a mild effect on humans and chimpanzees.  It is then combined with parts of another virus to make a vaccine. 

For the current coronavirus, researchers simply “added the surface protein of COVID-19 to ChAdOx1.” The Oxford scientists were quickly able to adapt it to the current pandemic and develop the clinical trial protocols.

Ring Vaccination Strategy

Even if the results of the clinical trial currently under way end up being promising, it will still be a little early to celebrate.

Phase III of the vaccine’s development, will be to administer it to volunteers who will then be released back into their regular environments where they could be exposed naturally to the virus.

The idea is to administer the vaccine to members of the first circle of contacts of people who fall ill with the virus, and then to observe whether the virus contaminates the second circle. That way, it’s possible both to vaccinate and to evaluate.

This was done during the 2018 Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and could be replicated to fight against Covid-19.

While the experts recognize that the work of the Oxford team was very promising, they said other possible vaccines, like those being developed by the American pharmaceutical companies Inovio and Moderna, might also be in advanced stages of research by the autumn.

Despite the encouraging news, there is no guarantee that the vaccines will work. But even if the efforts at Oxford University are not completely successful we will have learned a lot about how the body’s immune system fights this virus and it is likely that it will still reduce the severity of the virus, which is a great silver lining!

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Ongoing Personal Coronavirus Precautions

ACROSS THE COUNTRY, some states and cities are starting to reopen, but that doesn’t mean we should immediately stop all precautionary measures and go straight back to life as usual. Every little bit we can do helps ensure that hospitals don’t get more new cases than they can handle, so let’s quickly review the basics.

Social Distancing

Basically, social distancing means staying at home and avoiding physical contact with other people as much as possible, remaining at least six feet apart and keeping errands and outings to a minimum. The more people do this, the fewer chances the virus will have to spread.

Hand Washing

COVID-19 is spread through person-to-person contact or by touching things an infected person has touched. Scrubbing with ordinary soap is an excellent way to kill germs, especially coronavirus, but it’s important to wash every part of our hands to get the full benefit. It also helps to keep our nails trimmed, because germs can flourish under them, where they are very difficult to reach.

Minimizing Hand-to-Face Contact

Any time we touch our faces, we transfer germs from our hands to our mouths and eyes. Resist the urge to rub itchy eyes or poke at a stuck piece of food with your finger! Keep some 70% alcohol hand sanitizer nearby or wash your hands first for the times when touching your face can’t be avoided.

Sanitizing Surfaces and Devices

No amount of hand washing can keep the germs at bay forever if the surfaces we touch throughout the day remain dirty. Regular wipe-downs of frequently touched surfaces with alcohol or bleach-based cleaners keeps germs from spreading! This includes things we might not typically think to clean, like doorknobs, steering wheels, light switches, and, of course, our electronic devices!

Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

When we go out in public, especially to places where social distancing is harder to do, it’s a good idea to wear cloth face masks. Simple cloth face coverings are great for running essential weekly errands, and they can be fashioned from common materials most of us have around the house. The CDC’s website offers easy instructions for a few different ways to make cloth masks, including two no-sew versions.

Just As Important: Staying Informed

As we continue to follow safety and sanitation guidelines, we also need to stay current with accurate information about the pandemic. A great source of information is the CDC’s website, which is regularly updated with new data and recommendations for how we can keep ourselves safe and slow the spread of coronavirus.

Let’s all keep up the good work! We’ve got this!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Great Kids’ Quarantine Content

LOOKING FOR GOOD CONTENT to help your kids deal with Covid 19? Take a look at Nickelodeon. According to a recent Channel 3000 post, Nickelodeon put up a new site to help kids keep learning and stay busy while safely remaining at home.

The new site is called #KidsTogether and the content helps kids understand the guidelines for the COVID-19 outbreak. It also has several downloadable kid-friendly activities.

On the site, kids will recognize their favorite characters like the Bubble Guppies, the Casagrandes, and SpongeBob SquarePants. The site offers kid-friendly videos that teach the children about social distancing and proper hand washing, and it has indoor games and activities to promote physical and mental activity.

So if you are running low on tactics and the kids are getting a bit stir-crazy with the stay at home directive, take a look!

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Practice Updates Regarding Coronavirus

BASED ON RECOMMENDATIONS from the ADA and the CDC, we’re temporarily changing the way our practice operates. We recommend that all of our patients check the CDC’s website for information on the coronavirus and what we can do to slow the spread.

Temporary Changes to Our Schedule

For now, the office will remain closed until the governor’s shelter-in-place directive is modified (hopefully in May?). The front office team (admin, scheduling) are working remotely, monitoring and answering phone calls, texts, and emails.

Emergency Treatment

Most orthodontic problems (like poking wires and loose brackets) can be managed at home until we reopen. We have short video clips that will help on the website. We also have instructions on how to make temporary retainers should you lose your custom made ones. These will hold teeth until we can reopen and make you new custom ones.

If you have rubber band or aligner questions, please call us and send photos so we can help. If you are running out of elastics, please call and send a photo of your bag so we can mail you more. If you have a true dental emergency like significant swelling with pain and infection or trauma, please contact your dentist immediately; if you do not get a prompt response, go to the E.R.

We Are Strong When We Work Together

Right now, one of the best ways that we as healthcare professionals can help to slow the spread of coronavirus is to follow the guidance of these health organizations, and we encourage our patients to do the same. We will be sure to update you about additional changes at our practice.

We love all our patients!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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Dealing with COVID-19: How to Shelter at Home and Not Go Stir Crazy

IF YOU ARE LIKE me, the hardest part of managing the current pandemic is to stay at home and not go completely bonkers! We are a nation that has always been an on-the-go-and-get-stuff-done society, so hunkering down for several weeks can be a huge challenge — not just to our physical well-being and economy but to our mental and emotional balance as well.

The good news is that social distancing and other mitigation measures are starting to work and we are about to turn the corner. So it is important to remember that if we stay vigilant and follow the rules, this is temporary and it will get better soon. In the meantime, I am including in this article some good ideas to help you weather the storm, stay home and safe, and deal with the “cabin fever” of self-quarantine.

Here are a couple of ideas I read in a great article posted on March 12, 2020 in the Wall Street Journal by author Ruth Margolis.

First, Ruth suggests dividing your home into zones to maintain the peace when adults are trying to get work done at home and still educate, enrich, and raise their kids. She says make sure to establish a work zone/room, a quiet or rest zone/room, and lastly to zone off a play and recreation area or room. Then figure out a schedule for when different family members are in each respective zone. Enforce penalties and offer rewards for compliance. Oh yes, this is important too: one adult monitors the kids and the other does their work, then switch.

Second, right now, screens are your friend. So keep iPads and phones charged and don’t worry about excessive screen time for now if it keeps the peace. We’ll wean ourselves off of them once quarantines are lifted.

In most situations, as long as we follow social distancing rules, we can still go outside and avail ourselves of the wonderful spring weather. For me, exercise (primarily walking with family members) has been the best release for cabin fever. Plus it offers the double benefit of improving your physical health and immunity while lifting spirits — and importantly, you get to wave at the neighbors, feel less isolated, and realize we are all in this together.

Another way to stay sane is to engage in your hobbies or start new ones, watch all those documentaries you shelved when there wasn’t enough time, or do some catch-up reading. This is all about making lemonade out of lemons right now; don’t feel guilty about it or that you should be working on something. Life is a balance of work, rest, and play. Some extra rest and play right now won’t hurt and will sure help a lot in getting through this and maintaining your sanity!

SK

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