COVID-19 and Your Dental Health
The novel coronavirus has impacted Australian life like nothing we’ve seen before. Here at Integrity Dental, we want to mention what we’re doing to protect our patients and our community from this invisible scourge.
The Australian Dental Association drew up a set of practice guidelines that the Federal Government has recommended for adoption nationwide. Of course, we plan to follow these guidelines to keep all our patients safe.
Government Guidelines for COVID-19 Dental Best Practices
The Level 3 guidelines include several critical restrictions, including:
- Dentists should restrict or eliminate dental treatments that generate aerosols since the novel coronavirus passes from one person to another through the airborne route
- Dental practices should defer routine treatments and dental examinations.
The guidelines also provide dentists with a set of best management practices for at-risk patients that need urgent dental care, how to provide urgent dental care for patients who already have COVID-19, and protocols for handling the staff’s exposure to a patient who seemed well at their dental appointment but tested positive for the coronavirus later.
What We’re Doing Here at Integrity Dental
In addition to implementing the ADA guidelines, we have taken extra precautions locally here in Baulkham Hills and Dural. Using P2 masks, reducing or eliminating the need for aerosols in treatment, as well as intensifying our already stringent hygiene protocols, are all in our preventative toolbox.
Needless to say, we must limit appointments to only those with the greatest urgency. But there are some things you can do at home to stay in good dental health until we can open our practice to routine visits again.
How You Can Maintain Better Dental Health, Even During a Pandemic
This is important: According to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic, there’s a direct connection between your dental health and your overall health.
That connection is even more vital during a viral pandemic, particularly one caused by a respiratory virus. Here’s why:
- Your mouth is one of the entry points for your respiratory tract.
- Gum health has a direct impact on your immune system – your first line of defence against COVID-19.
- Maintaining healthy gums is one of the best ways to avoid diseases that increase your risk factors for a coronavirus infection, such as cardiovascular conditions and pneumonia.
Although you can’t come in for routine cleanings and check-ups, you can take some precautions on your own to take charge of your dental health. Here are several ways that you can maintain better oral health during this pandemic.
- Don’t forget regular brushing and flossing – at least twice a day and after meals: During challenging times, we often forget to maintain our regular self-care routine. Take the time to take care of your dental care routine – and make sure your children do as well.
- Reduce usage of decongestants, non-prescription painkillers, and antihistamines if possible: These medications restrict the flow of saliva, nature’s anti-microbial miracle. If you must take them, be sure to compensate with increased hydration (preferably with water). Ask your regular healthcare practitioner about any other precautions you can take regarding your medications.
- Avoid tobacco, sugary, or overly acidic foods: Even more important during a pandemic, eating healthy is one of the best defences you can mount. Eat vitamin-rich foods with plenty of calcium to maintain strong teeth and bones while reducing your intake of sweets or acidic foods. Always be sure to brush afterwards.
- Avoid roughhousing and contact sports: We know. It’s boring to stay home and limit yourself to your immediate family. It’s tempting to engage in a little wrestling or a family soccer match. Just don’t. Find another outlet for your kids’ energy. You don’t want to end up with a cracked or broken tooth and an emergency dental visit – especially during this health emergency.
More than anything, we want you to know we’re here for you during this challenge. If you have any questions about how you can better protect yourself against COVID-19 or have a true dental emergency, get in touch with our caring, knowledgeable team. Stay safe – and stay healthy!