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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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Protect Your Braces While Playing Sports

YOU CAN STILL PLAY THE SPORTS YOU LOVE while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment! But safety first, right? Wear your mouthguard!

Mouthguards Are SO Important

You may already have a mouthguard. Many contact sports require you to wear one. But once your braces are placed, that mouthguard may not fit properly. An ill-fitting mouthguard is not only uncomfortable, it’s also less effective at protecting you from impact, injury, and damage.

Protect Your Teeth, AND Your Braces

Even if you’re someone who doesn’t usually bother with a mouthguard, you’ll want to reconsider while wearing braces. Even a minor hit to the mouth can cause a lot of pain.

Plus, any delay in repairing damage to your brackets and how they fit could mean extra appointments and extended time wearing your braces. So, if you ever get hit while you’re playing sports, let us know right away!

Wearing Mouthguards As Teeth Are Shifting

Because your teeth are moving, it seems like a fitted mouthguard won’t fit very long. Talk to us about a solution! We’ll help you find a mouthguard designed to work with braces. There are also lip protectors to guard the soft tissue of your mouth from cuts and damage while you’re playing sports.

Minimize Sports Drinks Too

If you’re sipping Gatorade or other sports drinks through practice time and games, just stop! They’re really not good for your teeth. Your best option is water. If you have an occasional sports drink, rinse your mouth with water after you finish drinking it.

Be Safe Out There!

Braces don’t need to limit you! Talk to us about the activities and projects that you’re involved in and we’ll make sure you have all the resources you need.

Let us know if you ever have any questions. Thanks for your trust in our practice!

Top image by Flickr user Bob Stephan used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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Dinner Ideas For The Days Your Braces Are Tightened


ON BRACES-TIGHTENING DAY, you might want to eat something soft and easy when you get home. There are plenty of options for meals that are not only easy to eat, but delicious as well! The key to braces-friendly cooking is to replace hard, crunchy foods or ingredients with softer substitutes. 

7 Tips For Easy Chewing

Foods that don’t require much chewing make mealtime easier. We’ve done the thinking for you and yes… There are more options than just Jell-O! These tips should be handy when planning your menu on tightening day:

  1. Macaroni and cheese is easy to eat with braces, since pasta is soft and the cheese won’t stick to braces. There’s a reason mac ’n cheese is such an infamous comfort food!
  2. Soft foods like burritos and lasagna are a better choice than crunchy foods like tacos or pizza–unless you can make a homemade soft crust pizza!
  3. Prepare meals with cooked vegetables instead of raw vegetables. A soft vegetable stir-fry is a healthy and soft dinner choice for tightening day.
  4. Although meat is a great source of protein, it can be tricky to eat with braces. Softened beef in sloppy joes is a good option. Avoid working around a bone, or chewing tough meat.
  5. Mashed potatoes or polenta are great sides for any dish on tightening day.
  6. Smoothies, applesauce, yogurt, and hummus are great snack options.
  7. For a sweet treat, consider soft cookies, ice cream, cake, or a mousse.

More Great Ideas:

What’s Your Favorite Post-Tightening Meal?

Sensitivity after a tightening should go away after a day or two, but choosing the right foods can help you feel comfortable sooner. There are lots of great ideas and recipes for tender teeth. Do you have your own favorite food to eat after tightening? Share with us below! We love hearing from you.

Thanks for being our valued patient and friend. We appreciate you!

Top image by Flickr user José Carlos Cortizo Pérez used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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Coronavirus Health and Safety Tips

CORONAVIRUS IS AFFECTING all of our lives right now as we work together to slow the spread of the virus, keep everyone safe, and stay positive. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of misinformation going around, and we want to make sure our patients are well-informed.

Symptoms and Testing

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, shortness of breath, a dry cough, and sometimes tiredness. Don’t confuse it with seasonal allergies, which mostly involve congestion, itchy throat, and sneezing, or the flu, which involves vomiting, diarrhea, runny nose, coughing, sore throat, aches, and fatigue. Until tests for COVID-19 are widely available, only people exhibiting the typical COVID-19 symptoms should seek testing.

The number of confirmed cases is likely to go up as more tests become available. Higher numbers might seem alarming, but remember that it won’t represent an increase in the number of people who have COVID-19, it will represent an increase in the number of people who have been tested, which is a big step in the right direction. The more information we have about who has the virus, the easier it will be to contain and ultimately treat it.

Social Distancing and Protecting At-Risk Demographics

Why are we being encouraged to avoid large gatherings and work from home if possible? Coronavirus spreads person-to-person through close contact and when an infected person coughs or sneezes and germs get on their hands or surfaces other people touch. Elderly people and those with respiratory problems or compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable, and the best way to protect them is by following social distancing recommendations.

Hand-Washing and the Power of Soap

Because there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, washing our hands frequently is one of the best ways that we can slow the spread of the virus. Thanks to simple chemistry, regular soap is a highly effective weapon against coronavirus. These microscopic germs have a fatty layer that holds them together, and when the fatty layer comes in contact with soap, it breaks apart and the virus is destroyed.

This is why washing our hands is so effective. We should make sure to take at least 20 seconds and get every surface, then dry our hands thoroughly. Hand sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol content is a decent (but less effective) substitute. It’s also important to avoid touching our faces as much as possible.

Cleaning and Disinfecting Surfaces

Washing our hands is great, but it’s even better if we can clean the germs off the things we touch. We should be disinfecting our electronic devices and the surfaces in our homes and workspaces. Don’t forget doorknobs and light switches! Soap and water, alcohol-based cleaners, or bleach are all good options, but vinegar hasn’t been shown to be effective in this case. Make sure to give those surfaces a good scrub, not just a single swipe!

Getting Information from the Best Sources

As healthcare professionals, our top priority is ensuring that our patients have the best information in times like these, particularly with such a serious subject where the situation is changing rapidly. To learn more about the coronavirus and what you can do to help slow the spread, go to the CDC’s website. In the meantime, remember that taking good care of your teeth and gums is just as important now as ever!

Stay safe and happy. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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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