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What’s Local and Open for Fun-in-the-Sun?

July 14th, 2020

Photo credit: centraloregondaily.com

You’ve made it through the great experiment of virtual schooling with your kids. We applaud you, parents, for taking the plunge. It’s not easy being a teacher, driver, pet-wrangler, work-from-home hero but you’ve done it. You should be proud! But in the relief of a break from virtual lessons lingers a bigger question: “What CAN I do this summer with my kids?”

We’re so glad you asked. We’ve curated a stellar list of local spots not limited to campgrounds, flyfishing spots, zipline thrills, natural waterfalls, and soul-finding adventures. The possibilities are endless, and none of them require you (or the kids) to sit behind a screen. Yippee! Summer is ready for you. The question is, are you ready?

Here’s our best-of list of places OPEN FOR BUSINESS and ready to rock. So pack a cooler full of snacks, a towel, a sunhat, your family’s collection of facemasks, a bottle of hand-sani, and head out the door. Adventure awaits!

We hope you make the most of these sun-seeking suggestions and find fun as you go!

Surf the Whitewater Park or float the river, if you please.
While Deschutes County is still in Phase 2 of re-opening, we respect the river in abiding by her new rules. Bring your own watercraft aka floaties. There will be no rental tubes available at Farewell Bend, but you probably have some in that garage of yours anyway. Keep six feet apart from parties you did not come to the river with, and be generous with space when entering and exiting the water so that there is no crowding. The River float shuttle is not currently operating so you will need to drop a car at the point of take-out or prepare to walk back yourself. And as always, be kind to Mother Nature and dispense of any trash you create along the way. Need more deets? Go here.

Get a family campout in the books
Ready to break loose from your local haunts and explore the great beyond (meaning somewhere other than the far reaches of your grocery store parking lot?) Great news. Both state and local parks are open (with mask requirements still in effect). If this doesn’t make you jump for joy after months of stay-at-home mandates, you might want to check your pulse. Pack the car for a day-trip filled with the dazzling scenery of Crater Lake State Park or an overnight camp out in one of Oregon’s beautiful national forests. (Warning: some spots do not have trash service or running water available. So vault toilets, it is!) As a whole, Deschutes and Ochoco National Forest are open for business, especially day use areas including picnic areas, boat ramps, trailheads, and more. However, be prepared to pack out your own waste and provide your own water. Check here for updates on campsite statuses and last-minute preparations.

Zipline Mount Bachelor
Explore your own backyard, from the air! And no, we’re not talking about that fancy drone you bought for Christmas. Bachelor is the perfect spot to catch high-elevation thrills on a heartstopping 1,400 feet of vertical zipline with panoramic views of Central Oregon’s volcanic landscape including South Sister, Paulina Peak, Broken Top, and Tumalo Mountain. The journey begins at Pine Marten Lodge. Kids must be 10 years of age, at least 48 inches in height to ride, and must be accompanied by an adult. Strong winds and bad weather days may cause postponement of your experience, so make sure to check conditions before you leave.

Take the Paulina Plunge
There’s nothing that a full day of natural waterslides and gravity won’t cure! Wanderlust Tours, a local outfit, can be your trusted guide to fun this summer. Take one of their guided trips to visit six glistening waterfalls and two natural water slides for your littles to explore and play. The trip includes a downhill mountain biking portion which is great for confident beginners in your family. Trail-a-bike Tandems are available for your non-riding kiddos so that the whole family can enjoy the ride. Pack a swimsuit and get out there!

Pack a picnic for your bookworm
Action-packed adventures aren’t for everyone and we realize that some of us aren’t adrenaline junkies at heart. Got a curious kid who loves to explore new literary landscapes? Head to any Deschutes Public Library, open for pick up and check out, and find a stack of summer reads for the family. Pick a grassy spot to settle down with a blanket after stopping by one of Bend’s many great local food truck options (we like Thai on the Fly or grabbing a Shave Ice at Dakine Grindz). Low-key outings can be enjoyable too. People-watching for the win!

We’re excited to see you get outside and float, camp, bike and hike your way through Bend’s fabulous summer. Some of the best social distancing activities are those we do on a regular basis here anyway!

Orthodontics in the Digital Age? We’ve Got You Covered.

March 30th, 2020

At Struble Ortho, technology solutions that help us stay connected to you make us smile! While we can’t wait to see you in the office again, we are making do with the social distancing situation until then. You know that new and existing patients would normally get our full attention in person. But since we have reduced our in-office hours to be available for orthodontic emergencies only per Governor Brown’s requirements, we have to get a little creative.

You might have questions like—what about that new patient exam I had scheduled with Struble Ortho? I still want to see about getting braces. Or maybe I have braces, and I had a growth and development status appointment that was canceled. I need Dr. Struble and Dr. Crosta to walk me through the rest of my treatment plan!

We have some great news for you. Struble Orthodontics is now doing virtual appointments for all existing patients with appointments and those interested in getting a new patient consultation. For either option, send photos of your teeth to info@strubleortho.com with your full name and date of birth in the subject line. Emails will only be accessed by Struble staff for assessment and scheduling a direct video conferencing call via Zoom with Dr. Struble or Dr. Crosta. We hope to minimize any and all disruptions to our services from COVID-19. Again we thank you for sticking with us through this crazy time. We are working hard to keep both you and our staff safe and healthy.

Here’s how to take photos of your mouth ahead of your virtual appointment.

Follow along as Julie demonstrates how to take professional shots of your smile and bite at home.

Things you need to get started:

  • Chapstick. We want your lips to feel comfortable!
  • Two clean kitchen spoons (metal or plastic) but not too big!
  • A family member or friend to play photographer.
  • A phone that captures high-quality images.

Angles are important. Try to hold the camera as steady as possible so the photo doesn’t blur. Most phones now will have a built-in auto-stabilizer for crisp images.

  1. Repose photo (Angle: direct, head-on)
    Your natural face at rest. Look directly ahead into the camera at the front. Teeth and lips resting naturally together. Not smiling. (Think the last time you took a passport photo).
  2. Full smile photo (Angle: direct, head-on)
    This one is pretty straight-forward. Look directly at the camera and smile big! (Think first day of school photos :)
  3. Right side profile (Angle: Right side of face/jawline is visible)
    Chin is level and hair is tucked behind your ear for a clear sightline of your jaw. Don’t worry about smiling. Return to a natural resting face you had in the first photo. (Again, think about taking a passport photo).
  4. Frontal bite with spoon retractors (Angle: direct, head-on)
    Insert spoons on either side of your bite with the spoon’s ladle turned inward to cup the inside wall of your cheek. Gently pull the spoons apart in opposite directions so that the camera can see your bite clearly. Snap away!
  5. Left and right side bites with spoon retractors (Angle: One shot of your left side bite, one of your right side bite)
    Same instructions as the previous step, but this time get one focused shot on the right and left sides of your bite. Make sure all teeth are visible on each side in the shot as best you can.
  6. Upper arch photo (Angle: Camera should be slightly lower than the subject but angled upward so that you can see the roof of the subject’s mouth).
    Turn the ladle side of the spoons upward to cup the inside wall of your upper lip on each side. Gently lift your top lip toward the tip of your nose. Snap a photo of the upper arch. This is not the angle you’d normally choose for a selfie but none of your Instagram followers have to see this one!
  7. Lower arch photo (Angle: Camera should be slightly higher than subject but angled slightly downward to reveal the bottom arch of lower teeth.)
    Tip your chin downward. Turn the ladle side of the spoons downward to cup the inside wall of your bottom lip on each side and gently pull your bottom lip toward your chin.

Congrats, you’re done!

Optional photo: Take a photo of any problem areas you are experiencing with bite or discomfort. Zoom in a bit so we can see what’s going on.

How to send your photos

Again, you can send these photos to info@strubleortho.com with your full name and date of birth in the subject line and wait for a response from a staff member for a time and date for your virtual appointment with our team. While you’re waiting, take a peek at our Before and After photos from actual Struble patients. If you get stuck or just have questions, please call our office on weekdays until noon at 541-848-6642 or shoot us an email and we are happy to walk you through each step. Take care and see you (virtually) soon!

 

Broken bracket? Pokey Wire? Running out of Clear Aligners? Here’s what to do when you can’t come to the office.

March 25th, 2020

The team at Struble has created a handy series of patient troubleshooting videos for snags you might encounter with your braces or clear aligners during our office closure. Our anticipated date of return to regular business hours is June 15th as mandated by our State Governor Kate Brown. Until that time, our phones are staffed until noon on weekdays and we are happy for you to call us (541-848-6642) with any questions. We want you to know that you are not alone should you be experiencing a true orthodontic emergency!

If you haven’t yet read it yet, you catch up on our response to all COVID-19 related things here.

Out of respect for our nationwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), we ask that you carefully consider any visit you might make to our office for treatment before June 15th, as every glove, mask, and gown used to treat a patient counts in the fight our hospitals are facing against COVID-19. Struble is donating all PPE to our state efforts to battle coronavirus except for a small contingency to treat orthodontic emergencies. This means we all play a part in helping preserve gloves and masks for those who need it most.

Here are some helpful orthodontic tips to get you through our time of reduced services:

Question #1: “I have mouth pain and or facial trauma. Is this an orthodontic emergency?”

Any kind of facial trauma involving an open wound and/or appliance that has damaged soft tissue. A broken appliance from trauma that results in a hanging or disconnected end. If your pain is mild or your soft tissue is unaffected, it may be best to revisit the issue when we return to the office if you are able to hold the appliance in place with orthodontic wax. Please call our office in advance to your arrival so we can be prepared to serve you.

Question #2: “I’m a clear aligner patient and I’m running out of aligners. What do I do?”

If you are worried about running out of clear aligners there are few ways to handle that. The first is to drop down your wear-time of the aligners to night time only. This will keep teeth from shifting in a bad direction while maintaining the progress you’ve made. If you have active aligners, adjust your wear time to two-week intervals for the meantime. If you are wearing elastics, please continue to do so. If you are running out of elastics we can mail them to you or can pick them up yourself (we have them packaged and available for easy pick up at our Bend office).

Question #3: “What do I do with a broken bracket, Herbst appliance, or a pokey wire that annoys me?”

Additional videos with demos to fix specific bracket, wire, and Herbst issues.

With the office closure, it is more important to watch what you eat and how you eat to avoid breaking your orthodontic appliances. This means avoidance of hard or sticky foods like caramels or popcorn that might cause damage to your braces. However, if you do damage a bracket or a wire in your mouth, not to worry! There are a few easy fixes in the following videos to get you by, pain-free. Trimming pokey wires with a clean nail trimmer is easier than you think. Failing that, securing a loose or broken bracket in place with wax is a great solution until we are able to see you in person.

Question #4: “I had a growth and development check-up appointment scheduled during Struble’s office closure. What now?”

Good news! A virtual consultation platform is in the works. Stay tuned for more information about that on our blog soon. For those who had scheduled a simple appliance check, a retainer check, or a clear aligner check, we may be able to handle these types of requests through our virtual platform. We will be notifying patients about this telemedicine option soon. Please check back with us in the coming weeks.

Question #5: “What if I lose or break my retainer while the office is closed?

Unfortunately, we can’t see you in the office to take impressions to create a new appliance. But please do call us immediately if you lose an appliance (541-848-6642). If you contact us before your teeth begin to shift, we may be able to 3-D print your retainer model from when braces were removed and have it shipped to you. If a more significant amount of time has passed, you can always go to an online retailer like Amazon or Walmart to buy a customizable night guard. This will hold you over for temporary use until we can see you in person. We recognize that minor shifting of your teeth may occur. When we reopen our doors, we will be here for you to create a new treatment plan.

Question #6: I’m running out of orthodontic wax, elastics, and/or cleaning supplies for my braces. What should I do?”

Though this is a minor concern, we want to serve you in the best way possible which means we will be keeping our front door stocked with extra elastics and wax for our Struble patients. We can mail these to you directly or you can come in and pick them up before noon at our Bend location. We recommend you continue to wear your elastics only at night if you are running low and not able to restock your supply.

Lastly, we want to thank our awesome community for hanging with us through this time of unexpected closure. Our wish is to keep you healthy and safe by reserving our treatment hours for essential orthodontic emergencies. Thank you for understanding and again, do not hesitate to call our offices at 541-848-6642 should you need advice over the phone or email us at info@strubleortho.com. We are here to help you!

Struble Orthodontics COVID-19 Updates + FAQs

March 17th, 2020

 

Updated 3/24/20 @ 5:08pm

Dear Patients and Families of Struble Orthodontics,

As of 3/16/2020, the American Dental Association has issued a closure of non-essential health facilities. As of 3/23/20 Governor Brown has mandated dental and orthodontic clinics close to non-essential patients until June 15th, 2020. In keeping with the ADA and State of Oregon requirements, we will be rescheduling all appointments in May with an estimated return date of June 15th, 2020.

Please see our Frequently Asked Questions for treatment and care during the COVID-19 closure.

We take the safety of our patients, patients’ families, our staff, and our families very seriously. In order to do our part in being good stewards of our community and to practice current social distancing recommendations of the C.D.C., I have decided that it is prudent to close my office to all non-emergency orthodontic appointments until June 15th, 2020. I will re-evaluate this position continually based upon new data as it comes out.  I fully understand the inconvenience this places on our patients and their families and how disappointing it will be for those scheduled to get their braces off. However, certain orthodontic procedures (such as removing braces) can produce aerosols that contain biologic materials, including viruses.

By postponing all non-emergency orthodontic appointments until April 15th, 2020, we will all be doing our part in helping to “flatten the curve” that will hopefully save the lives of many of our loved ones who are most susceptible. This also frees up medical supplies, such as gloves and masks, to healthcare workers that could be overwhelmed with patients as well as providing time for back-ordered healthcare items to be replenished. “Flattening the curve” gives our hospitals and healthcare workers the chance to be able to treat enough patients with ventilators to get them healthy rather than making doctors decide who gets to live and die.

This is uncharted territory for everyone with more information coming out all of the time.  We will continue to stay in contact with all of our patients to provide further updates. This is our opportunity to do our part as a society, help each other, and protect the most vulnerable.

I realize there will be those that think this is an over-reaction, and I sincerely hope I am over-reacting. However, I feel deeply that it is better to take action now with the hope of a better outcome for everyone in our community.

During the next two weeks, my team and I will still be there for you 100%. We will make ourselves available to all of our patients who have something painful like a pokey wire that cannot be handled over the phone with verbal instructions. Please call our office at: 541-848-6642 or email at info@strubleortho.com should you need assistance.

I am hopeful that Gov. Brown, the OR Department of Public Health, and the CDC will also give us more guidance on how to move forward while ensuring safety for all.

I understand that many will have questions regarding their ongoing orthodontic care, and I have included a Q&A document that will address many of these questions.

Please take good care of each other and let’s hope for a speedy resolution to this situation.

Sincerely,
Dr Struble and Team


Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about my orthodontic care during the COVID 19 office closure

How long will your office be closed?
Like many facets of this outbreak, there are many unknowns. We plan on closing to non-emergency orthodontic procedures until June 15th, 2020. We are hopeful that the community actions being taken now will help slow the spread and shorten the life cycle of the pandemic so we can resume business as usual ASAP.

Why does the orthodontic office need to close?
The recommendations made by public health officials regarding “social distancing” apply to a dental office where many people are coming and going, and close contact is a necessary part of all dental care. We want to be socially responsible as a business and a good steward of our community.

Will my orthodontic care be affected negatively?
It depends on the length of the community health situation. A short interruption (weeks to a few months) in orthodontic adjustment appointments will not impact your overall progress. Should this event and office closure last significantly longer, there may be an overall effect on your progress. We will do our best to advance and “catch up” your treatment when the situation settles, should it be necessary.

How should I proceed if I am wearing braces or an appliance?
The good news is that your care in general advances even when we don’t see you in the office; in fact, this is how it works- your teeth get straight all day and night with braces. Continue to wear your elastics as directed. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly 3 times a day. We will be putting together a remote monitoring system soon so we can check on your progress via email or messenger application.

How should I proceed if I am wearing clear aligners, Invisalign, or Spark aligners?
It is very important NOT to just stop wearing your active aligners! We do not want to lose the progress you have made. Like with braces above, we will be doing some remote monitoring checks via e-mail or messenger app allowing us to assess your progress. If you are at your last aligner of an order, please continue wearing it. If you have recently started or are in the middle of an order, please continue advancing at the rate of change we have given you. Practice taking “selfies” of your teeth, as we will be using those to assess your progress. When additional aligners are needed, we will manufacture those for you, and you will be able to stop by the office and pick them up.

What should I do if I am scheduled to start treatment soon?
We are excited about 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, and we will reschedule your appointment to start treatment.

What about getting my braces off?
Although dental care is very safe for patients and providers overall with universal precautions and hospital-level sterilization protocols, cleaning teeth and the removal of orthodontic bonding material 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.

I have a routine monitoring appointment upcoming (retainer check, dental 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 the 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 dilute soap and water solution (1 teaspoon dish soap in a gallon of water). An old toothbrush is ideal for this purpose. After cleaning the appliance, rinse thoroughly in cold water to minimize the soapy taste.

I lost or broke my retainer or aligner; what should I do?
It is always important to wear retainers after your treatment is complete. Call the office; often we can make a replacement from your digital model and you can pick up at the office.

Will patients be allowed in the office at all? Is there anyone there?
Yes, we will staff the office with a small number of team members Monday through Thursday. Our phones will be answered. However, we will LIMIT ACCESS TO THE OFFICE TO ONE PERSON AT A TIME. PLEASE CALL US IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO COME TO THE OFFICE. WE ARE GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU AND WE WILL PROVIDE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.

I have a poking wire or other irritation that is bothering me; what do I do?
Call us! We will instruct you on the best resolution to the problem. This could include an easy fix at home or 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. Please call to let us know if you require any elastics or other necessary supplies during this time. We can make arrangements to get these to you without requiring entry to the building.

Can I enter the office with my child?
Of course! We would, however, ask for everyone’s help in minimizing the number of people in the office. Depending on your child’s age and your wishes, some parents may feel comfortable staying in the car or corridor while their child is treated. For others, especially younger children, we fully expect parents to be present with them. Only one parent should come and no siblings should come along. This is what is best for everyone.

American Association of Orthodontists American Board of Orthodontics Oregon Dental Association DamonSmile Invisalign iTero
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