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COVID-19 Journey

January 26th, 2021

What a wild ride the pandemic of COVID-19 has been over the past year.  There has been so much uncertainty and emotions in fighting this invisible enemy.  Just know that Dr. Morgan and the team at Perennial Smiles have been doing our part throughout to try and keep everyone as safe as possible.

In the beginning, the unknown of this pandemic really flipped this country upside down.  Watching governor Mike DeWine's daily announcements about COVID-19, or the Coronavirus, and what to do was tedious, but necessary.  Wearing masks, social distancing, limiting exposure by staying home were just a few of the ways to keep everyone safe.  We then received the news that guidelines from Governor DeWine, the American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Ohio Dental Association, and all the various dental boards had decided to close businesses, including dental offices to slow the spread.  As sad as we were, it makes sense because patients are not wearing masks while in the dental chairs, and there are many aerosolized procedures which would spread the virus faster.

In mid March of 2020, our office announced that we had to close to in-office appointments, except for emergencies.  With no patients, we also had to temporarily lay off the majority of our staff.  It was a very sad and difficult time.  However, Dr. Morgan's commitment to safely treating our patients and keeping our office safe remains high.

There was much planning needed during the shut down, and Dr. Morgan really came through.  Every day, Dr. Morgan and two staff members came into the office to make adjustments with the office, patient appointments, policies, answer phones, and see any emergency that may arise.  Going through the daily schedule and weekly schedules to have to cancel and reschedule patients was very difficult.  On a positive note, this created the opportunity for virtual visits!  Dr. Morgan was able to still see many patients virtually to monitor them and keep their treatment progressing.  It really seemed to work out well!

Keeping the office safe was another priority during this time.  We knew we would reopen eventually and needed to make some changes.  Thorough cleanings were done in the office during this time.  Per recommendations from the dental boards, we also removed our coffee station, magazines, closed our playroom, among other changes.  Our office even had an air filtration system installed inside our HVAC units that has been proven to kill the Coronavirus.  With performing aerosolized procedures, we felt this was an absolute must for our office.

Next on the list of safety was protection with PPE.  With the whole country scrambling for PPE, it was difficult to come by initially.  Our office decided to use scrub caps, face shields, N95 and KN95 masks with a surgical mask overtop, and gowns for our clinical staff.  We also purchased plexiglass shields for our staff behind desks with everyone in the office wearing at least a level 2 or level 3 surgical mask.  Things were coming together and we were feeling like we could safely reopen when allowed, however the schedule still needed reworked.

During the temporary shut-down, Dr. Morgan and staff reworked the schedule so we could safely reopen when the time came.  Measurements were taken so we could ensure safe distancing between chairs for patients.  We also decided to keep aerosolized procedures separate from other patients and regular adjustments for increased protection.  Per guidelines, we would have to limit the amount of patients and visitors allowed in our building for safety.  Because of this, our waiting room area would need to remain closed.  Luckily, our patient communication software allows texting for easy communication.  Patients were to wait in their vehicle and text in when they arrived, and our office would text back when we were ready to see them.  All staff and patients were to be screened when entering the office as well by taking temperatures and filling out a questionnaire regarding symptoms and exposures.

May 2020 came and we received the news that we were allowed to reopen!  All of our staff came back and were very receptive to the new policies and procedures.  Our amazing staff also agreed to work an extra day every week for weeks so we could see all the patients we had to reschedule!  It was a new way of life for our office for patients to see, but slowly and safely we were getting back to normal.

As the months have gone by, we have been fortunate to have all our staff members remain healthy throughout this pandemic.  Dr. Morgan and the entire team have done a wonderful job in protecting ourselves and our patients while continuing to create spectacular smiles for our community.  We will still follow the recommended guidelines set by the state and dental boards as they continue.  With the vaccine slowly and safely being rolled out now, hopefully life will start returning to normal and the pandemic will fade away.  Stay safe everyone!

When to see an orthodontist

December 17th, 2020

Everyone wants what is best for their child.  Oral health and a great smile are no exceptions.  To ensure great oral health for your child, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends a first dental check up when the first tooth erupts, or no later than his or her first birthday.  This will help to provide the best preventative oral care possible for a healthy smile.

Fast forward a few years in your child's life, you may be asking yourself when is the right time for my child to see an orthodontist?  The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends that all children be screened by an AAO orthodontist by age 7. By this time, your child has enough permanent teeth that an orthodontist can evaluate before any future problems occur.

Some of these potential problems may seem obvious, such as misaligned teeth or spacing issues.  However, a trained orthodontist can better evaluate other potential problems with your child's teeth, bite, growth, among other issues.  Visiting an orthodontist by age 7 is a solution to these issues that will benefit your child's growth and development through life, setting them up for success!

When visiting Perennial Smiles, you will be evaluated by Dr. Stephanie Morgan.  She is a highly trained orthodontic specialist who will evaluate your child so they can be set up to showcase their best smile.  With your child's initial exam, Dr. Morgan will be able to assess items such as:

  • Underbites/overbites
  • Crossbites
  • Open bites/deep bites
  • Crowding
  • Spacing
  • Extra or missing teeth
  • Jaw issues and growth
  • Oral habits, such as thumb sucking
  • Tooth eruption

Not all early visits for your child will result in orthodontic treatment.  There may be no need at the time for any intervention and your child may be observed periodically by Dr. Morgan as their jaws and face continue to grow and develop.  If a problem is found to exist that will benefit from early treatment, Perennial Smiles is the right place to get started!

While seeing an orthodontist by age 7 is great for kids, there is actually no age limit in achieving that spectacular smile for yourself!  At Perennial Smiles, we have patients of all ages, even in their 70s and 80s!  It is never too late to attain the smile you've always wanted!

You do not need to wait for a dentist referral to see an orthodontist.  Call today to schedule a Free Consultation with Dr. Morgan at Perennial Smiles to see how you or your child may benefit from orthodontic treatment to achieve your best smiles!

Chocolate Walk

October 6th, 2020

Over the weekend, the North Canton Chamber put on their annual Chocolate Walk on Main Street in North Canton. This is such a fun community event to support all the local businesses in the area!  The chamber sells 250 tickets each year for participants, and each participating business is to pass out chocolate!  It seems like trick-or-treat for adults!  Businesses can pass out anything made with chocolate, cocoa powder, white chocolate, chocolate flavoring, or in the shape of chocolate!

This was our third year participating in this event.  Due to Covid restrictions, it was a little different with many of the participating businesses setting up outside under canopy tents.  It was actually pretty fun and relaxing because it was such a nice day outside!  All the participants did a great job in social distancing and wearing face masks as they came up to the businesses as well, so the whole event felt very safe.

This year, our office decided to support another local business whose locations are not on Main Street to help get their name out in the community even more.  We teamed with Nom Nom Popcorn and passed out the "trifecta" of chocolate, with options of white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate flavored popcorn!  Overall, the event went very well and we received a lot of positive feedback!

As a reminder, anyone with braces should only eat popcorn that is fully popped.  It is also a great idea to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth after eating the popcorn in order to promote proper dental hygiene! :)  We had a great time at this event and look forward to participating in the future!

 

Best of the Best

September 16th, 2020

With the launch of our new website,we thought it might be fun to incorporate a blog to keep everyone updated of certain information and events happening in the practice and community, announcements, or other orthodontic information.  With this said, I wanted to write a little post about some great news that happened recently.

With the roller coaster of a ride that 2020 has been so far with lock-downs and Covid-19 pandemic that has reshaped the way we practice, we are excited to announce some great news!  The Canton Repository annual Best of the Best contest for 2020 has recently come to a close.  We feel greatly honored and humbled to be voted "Best Orthodontist" for a 5th year in a row!  It means so much to us to be part of this community and have such great support all around.  We truly appreciate each and every one of you and want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Dr. Morgan and our fantastic team will continue to uphold our practice standards to keep serving this great community.  We love being here to bring out the best in people and literally put smiles on their faces.  When you love what you do, you never really have to work.

 

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