We are in our third week of closure due to the covid19 outbreak, and the situation has been very difficult for all orthodontic offices and their patients across the country. It is especially challenging for our profession, as we have so many patients that have braces on their teeth, but we cannot currently see them in our office. I wanted to let my patients know that I am doing all that I can, and am working so hard to keep their treatments progressing as much as possible during this time period. While we are all in stay at home mode, here are some things that I am doing, and things you can do at home, to keep your teeth moving in a positive direction.
- I am currently calling or Facetiming all of my patients individually to discuss their unique cases. Some of you have active springs, rubber bands, facemasks for underbites, expanders, …etc. Sometimes a phone conversation is enough to encourage you to keep wearing elastics, while others I may want to get a good look at through Facetime or texting photos of your teeth. I am going through my schedule day by day to make these calls, and I have had conversations with over 400 patients so far, with over 800 to go. Hang in there, I will get to you all! It is certainly keeping me busy during this time, and you all have been Sooooo nice and understanding with this situation.
- Please feel free to communicate with me. I can truly tell you that I care about my patients and the community more than you can imagine, and I hope everyone understands how much all of this is weighing on me. I have many people that were supposed to have braces removed (some that are moving out of the state or leaving for the military) that now have to be delayed until this passes. These are tough situations, and we will be working with you all to get through your individual situations. I will sitting in our (empty) office every week answering your questions and concerns, and my cell phone is available to call personally.
- Keep wearing your rubber bands if you have been asked to do so at your last appointment! This will keep your treatment moving along and getting you closer to being finished. Parents, please check your kids often, and give me a call if their rubber band supply is running low. We can deliver envelopes of elastics “curbside” to pick up if you need more (to keep our distance during this time)!
- Keep your teeth clean! As many of you know, we spend much of our time coaching how to brush, and how to reach spots that you are missing with your brush. Parents: now that many of you are around your kids more at home, please check them at least every other day to make sure they are removing plaque from around their braces and gum lines. Plaque looks like a pasty-white material that accumulates in these areas . I encourage parents to help brush these areas, even with teens that need the help (I did this with my own kids!).
- We will be in touch with you to set up appointments as soon as this passes and we can re-open. To accommodate the large number of people that will need to be seen, we will be opening additional days of the week, and will be extending our hours that we will be open. We will also be implementing new levels of protection for our patients and for our staff and myself that go beyond the CDC and OSHA disinfection standards. Please feel free to ask me about these changes at any time! They are quite extensive, and will be a permanent change, but it will be for the better moving forward.
Thank you for reading through this. I miss seeing you all! Our goals are for all of us to get through this with our health, and to be here for all of your concerns. Stay healthy Castle Rock!
Dr. Dan 🙂