Hello friends and neighbors,
Hope everyone is being cautious as Broward opens up again. I am sure all our ladies are ready for a mani-pedi just about now, LOL!!
We have now been open since May 11th. Our protocols have been in place for a few weeks now and are working well. All the patients, who have made it in, love it and have commented on how controlled it is. We used all the information from the CDC and American Dental Association to create a very streamlined and effective protocol to ensure safety for you and our team. Below are some of the key points. The actual protocol handout I gave to our team is more than 5 pages long.
- Our whole team has access to any PPE they need for their safety
- The office is only seeing 75% of our usual capacity
- The disinfecting protocols have been ramped up significantly more than suggested
- Every patient and staff member entering the office is checked and questioned for screening
- No one is allowed to wait in the waiting room
- Only parents of children below the age of 10 are allowed to stand by the chair if requested
- Social distancing is observed in the non-clinical situations
- Where possible the traffic is limited to one way only
- We have a patient ambassador stationed at the front door to control the flow of patients to ensure no one is made to wait. They are called in when the chair is ready and they go straight through.
- All next appointments are done by phone/text/email to limit your and our exposure.
We are just happy to get back to our patients and doing what we love. Many of us have been tested already and are negative for the virus. We continue to repeat the testing to make sure it stays that way. As we open up our cities again, let’s all do our best to make sure we don’t get a severe spike in infection.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION:We hope that you and your family are safe and healthy – we are happy to announce that the office is scheduled to open on May 11th. We have 7 weeks of appointments to reschedule and will be doing so in the order that they were missed, starting with those on March 18th. Seven weeks of appointments cannot be squeezed into one month. For this reason, in order to re-schedule in an efficient and effective way, ALL appointments from March 18th through June 8th will have to be moved.
March and April appointments will be moved into May (we will be opened some Saturdays to catch up with the missed appointments)
May appointments will be moved to June.
We will systematically be rescheduling your appointment for you. You will be receiving your new appointment time via text or email very soon. Please make your very best effort to attend your new appointment. It is unfortunate, but due to this situation we will have extremely limited flexibility with finding you a new appointment should you not be able to keep it. It could be many weeks before we can re-schedule and we do not want your treatment progress delayed any further than what has been mandated by the State. Thank you for all the patience and understanding you have shown us! We can’t wait to see you all soon!
Dr. Khakhria Jacaranda Smiles
How long will our office be closed?
· Our office is currently scheduled to reopen on April 6th. We are frequently assessing the situation and will be very transparent with next steps if that changes. Our team will be available to assist patients by phone text or email Monday thru Saturday. To help keep our outgoing lines open for our team to handle patient concerns, we ask that you text our team at 954 866 1995, for the fastest response.
Why does the orthodontic office need to close?
· Due to nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sweeping recommendations of numerous health and government officials, we must close our doors to all elective procedures for the safety of our community. Elective procedures are defined as any procedure that does not involve treating a medical emergency to preserve life.
How should I proceed if I am wearing braces or an appliance?
· Please make sure you keep good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing three times a day. Also, remember, DO NOT eat forbidden foods to avoid any breakage. If wearing any elastic continue to do so as directed. Your braces will continue to straighten your teeth all day and night. Proper elastic wear will continue to correct your bite. We will be able to advance your treatment once we reopen.
· If you have an expander, please stop turning the key until you see us again
How should I proceed if I am wearing Invisalign aligners?
· Please make sure to keep wearing your active aligners as instructed to continue progressing your treatment.
· If you no longer have aligners to continue to your next week, it is perfectly fine to reduce your last aligner wear to a retainer phase of 10-12 hours per day to ensure that your teeth stay in position and make your aligner last longer. Keep your aligners clean and avoid all drinks other than water while wearing them.
· Always remember to wash your hands before placing and removing your aligners or elastics.
What should I do if I am scheduled to start treatment soon?
· We are excited for all our patients to take this big step, and look forward to seeing your new smile when it is finished. We are hopeful that this schedule alteration will be short. When this situation has stabilized, we are going be ready for you!
What about getting my braces off?
· Although dental care is very safe for patients and providers with standard universal precautions and hospital level sterilization protocols, cleaning teeth and the removal of orthodontic bonding materials produces aerosols that can possibly contain biological material. A deferral of removing braces is a good practice at a time like this. Always brush and floss thoroughly to maintain your dental health as we await the passing of this situation. We will resume removal of braces when we are advised that it is safe to do so.
I have a routine monitoring appointment upcoming (retainer check, growth monitoring, recall examination, or new patient consultation).
· These appointments are very important, but by their nature become elective at a time like this. We will maintain all appointment records within our computer system, and will reschedule them appropriately when the community situation returns to normal.
We are told to wash our hands frequently; how should we handle wearing aligners, retainers, elastics, etc?
· It is important to continue wearing your aligners and your rubber bands to maintain your treatment progress, or your treatment result if currently wearing retainers. Follow recommendations by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after removing or placing your aligners, retainers, or elastics. These items can also be washed or cleaned in a diluted soap and water solution. An old toothbrush is ideal for this purpose. After cleaning the appliance, rinse thoroughly in cold water to minimize the soapy taste, just like when doing the dishes.
I lost or broke my retainer or aligner. What should I do?
· It is always important to wear your retainers after your treatment is complete. Call or text, someone will be contact you to see how we can proceed.
I have a poking wire or other irritation that is bothering me. What do I do?
· Call or text us! We will instruct you on the best resolution to the problem. We will try to help you with an easy fix at home. In the event of a true emergency involving severe pain or discomfort, this could involve a quick VIP trip to the office for a fix in a private setting where you would be the only patient in the office.
How do I treat my child’s toothache?
· For toothaches, rinse the mouth with warm water to clean it out. Gently use dental floss to remove any food caught between the teeth. Do not put aspirin on your child’s aching tooth or gums; it may burn the gum tissue. If the pain persists, contact your child’s dentist.
What if my child cracks a tooth?
· For a cracked tooth rinse the mouth with warm water to clean the area. Put cold compresses on the face to keep any swelling down. Contact us as soon as possible.
What do I do if my child knocks out his/her tooth?
· Make sure your child does not have a more serious injury. Rinse his or her mouth with warm water, then use a cold compress to reduce swelling. If possible, it should be found to bring to the dentist. Call us immediately.
What do I do if my child’s tooth is loose?
· Your child’s tooth is loose it is most likely because the permanent tooth is coming in. Have the child play with the loose tooth with their tongue. Not a wise idea to allow children to put their hands in their mouth since CDC has recommended to touch your face as little as possible.
What do I do if my child has had injury to the mouth or face?
· First assess injuries to face or head first. If there is any question that significant head trauma has occurred, then please see ER. If a tooth has been involved and is cracked or loose, then do not place any pressure on loose tooth and contact office for further directions.
To stay updated on how our office is responding and to maintain a centralized place for resources such as this, we will be updating our social media and website. Follow us on Instagram @jacarandasmilesfl and at facebook.com/jacarandasmilesfl for updates.
Thank you for your understanding. We wish you all good health, and we can’t wait to see you again in person real soon!
Dr. Khakhria and Jacaranda Smiles Team