Though the world experiences a public health crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dental hygiene is still paramount. With more and more dental clinics opening following the easing of lockdown restrictions, you might probably wonder how to practice safety when visiting a dentist.
Precaution is Paramount
As you may already know, COVID-19 can be transferred through infected secretions including respiratory droplets and salvia through talking, coughing, or sneezing.
This nature of the disease transmission makes it challenging for dentists to deliver their services effectively. To minimize risks, dentists are now trading more modern equipment that generates a spray of saliva and water for manual tools that are relatively safer. Besides wearing the necessary personal protective equipment, those who work in dental clinics (e.g. Dentist, staff) also make sure that their workplace and gear are thoroughly and regularly sanitized.
Tips to Follow
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 especially in dental care settings, precaution should also be observed in the patients’ end. Here are 9 tips to follow:
Do a remote consultation first. With the COVID-19 yet to be contained, health experts still advise to only go out whenever necessary. If you have oral health concerns, you have to do a remote consultation and discuss with a dentist about your condition.
Book an appointment. If a dental expert advises that you need to physically visit a clinic and undergo treatment, book an appointment first — never do a walk-in. As much as possible, choose a schedule where there will be the least number of patients present in the clinic.
Be transparent about your condition. A day before your scheduled appointment, expect a call from the clinic to check your health status. If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms or have been exposed to an infected person, be transparent about it. It’s better to cancel your appointment than to risk infecting other people.
Wear personal protective equipment. If you’re clear to visit a clinic, wear the necessary protective gear like face masks and face shields. Equip yourself with a sanitizer or an alcohol rub as well. Observe proper hand hygiene while en route to the clinic and to your home.
Maintain proper distancing. Keep a distance of around 6 feet unless you’re already at the room where the procedure will take place.
Follow clinic protocols. Dental clinics follow a certain set of protocols to maintain the safety of their premises. Follow it diligently in order to minimize the risk of spreading or contracting COVID-19.
Observe personal hygiene. Keep wearing your mask at all times unless you’re undergoing a dental procedure. As mentioned, always disinfect your hand, and avoid interacting closely with other people as much as possible.
Inquire about follow-up check-ups. Should you need to visit the clinic again for a follow-up check-up (granted that it can’t be done remotely), make sure to follow the abovementioned tips again. Also, don’t forget to ask your dentist about the necessary do’s and don’t s to minimize post-dental treatment complications.
Maintain good oral hygiene. This one should be followed at all times — whether there’s a pandemic or not, whether you’ve recently undergone a dental procedure or your oral health seems to be fine. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss every after meal, and eat a balanced diet.
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