The COVID-19 Outbreak and Your Dental Care

The COVID-19 Outbreak and Your Dental Care

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a women with dark hair flossing her teeth

On April 1st, the American Dental Association issued a statement urging dentists nationwide to keep their offices closed to all but urgent and emergency procedures until April 30 at the earliest. This is for the safety of both patients and dental staff and to do our part to slow the rate of transmission of the virus in our area.

If you have a dental emergency, know that we are diligently following directions from the Centers for Disease Control, the American Dental Association and the Nevada Board of Dental Examiners to ensure the highest level of safety is maintained. For example, every dental chair and arm/headrest is thoroughly disinfected after each use. Replacement masks and gloves are used by the doctor and staff with each patient treated. In addition to dental tools being sterilized for each patient, all exposed surfaces are sanitized after every patient is treated. 

What is considered a Dental Emergency?

We are scheduling and handling dental emergencies. Your health care is very important to us. Therefore, we want to ensure our patients know what is meant by a “dental emergency”. 

Dental care that you should have taken care of by a dentist at this time:

  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop
  • Painful swelling in or around your mouth
  • Pain in a tooth, teeth or jaw bone
  • Gum infection with pain or swelling
  • After surgery treatment (dressing change, stitch removal)
  • Broken or knocked-out tooth
  • Denture/Partial adjustments
  • Snipping or adjusting wire of braces that hurts your cheek or gums
  • Biopsy of abnormal tissue

If you are not sure if your situation is an emergency call us and we will get your data and work out the best approach to your situation.

Dental care you can reschedule for a time when we have resumed normal operations:

  • Regular visits for exams, cleanings, and x-rays
  • Regular visits for braces
  • Tooth whitening

Keep your mouth healthy during the COVID 19 outbreak.

Your oral hygiene health is vital to your overall health. Oral infections can lead to infections in other parts of your body. For example, poor oral health can lead to various conditions such as endocarditis (infection of the inner lining of your heart chambers and heart valves) cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, pregnancy and birth complications. So now more than ever, it is vital to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.

Daily routine is a must!

Floss

It is best to floss before you brush your teeth. Flossing dislodges food wedged between your teeth. Regular flossing may also reduce gum disease and bad breath by removing plaque that forms along the gum line.

Brush at least twice a day  

Brush at least in the morning and before bedtime. Take your time and brush for two minutes.

Use a good toothbrush

You want to use a soft-bristle toothbrush. Toothbrushes wear and bristles become frayed and worn and therefore may lose their effectiveness.  We recommend changing your toothbrush out every three months.

How to take care of your mouth when you are sick.

In addition to keeping good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing daily, when you are sick here are some other important points to follow:

  • Do not share your toothbrush!
    Do not share your toothbrush with anyone else at any time and keep it separate from all other toothbrushes of the family. We also advise you use a separate toothpaste container to avoid risk of sharing your illness with anyone else.
  • Choose sugar-free cough drops.
    Many cough drops contain sugar so it’s like sucking on candy. Cavity-causing bacteria thrive on this sugar. So read the label before you pick up a bag at the drug store.
  • Swish and spit after vomiting.
    When a person vomits, acids in the stomach come up into the mouth and coat the teeth. Rather than brushing, which will just spread the acid around on your teeth, you can swish with water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mix of water and 1 tsp of baking soda. After 30 minutes, it is safer to brush your teeth.
  • Stay Hydrated!
    It is very easy to become dehydrated when you are sick.  You lose water through sweating, diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Also medications can make your mouth dry. When you become dehydrated and your mouth becomes dry, you do not have enough saliva to bathe your teeth and help prevent cavities. This is often referred to as “dry mouth”. To avoid this, drink water, teas or drinks with electrolytes to keep your body hydrated.  Avoid drinks loaded with sugar such as sodas and fruit juice. If you drink fruit juice try diluting it with water or soda water and try to drink it in moderation.

Summary

Dental hygiene is always important for maintaining good health. We hope you follow the above advice and stay safe and healthy. If you think you may have a dental emergency don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely, Dr. Tyler Christensen
Christensen Dental in Henderson, Nevada