Going to the dentist during COVID-19? How safe is it? Should you keep or postpone your regular dentist visits during the pandemic?
Healthy patients should continue to make their preventive dental care appointments every six months. Medically compromised children and adults are advised to talk to their dentist to determine if a preventive care visit is appropriate during the pandemic.
The importance of regular preventive dental care:
• Your dentist is often the first to spot developing health conditions and diseases, even cancer. Think of your mouth as the window into your overall health.
• Your dentist can detect and treat dental problems such as cavities and gum disease. Working from home and homeschooling have led to more snacking in between meals and an increase of cavities and gum disease. Did you know cavities are the most common chronic childhood disease? And yet, it can be largely prevented with early detection and good oral hygiene.
• For young children, a healthy mouth is crucial to learn how to smile, speak and eat properly. A dentist monitors that everything develops on track.
• Broken teeth and gingivitis have been on the rise due to pandemic-related clenching, grinding or vaping. Your dentist can help prevent further deterioration.
How do dental offices ensure the safety of their patients and staff?
Dental offices across Arkansas have taken many additional precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as:
• Increased use of personal protective equipment.
• Expanded cleaning and sanitation.
• Pre-appointment patient screening.
• Modified check-in procedures to allow for maximum spacing among patients.
Dentists and dental staff are eligible to participate in Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccination plan.
What else can I do to maintain keep my teeth and gums healthy during the pandemic?
If you take good care of your mouth, your teeth and gums will last a lifetime. Besides seeing your dentist regularly:
1. Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed for two minutes each. Floss once a day.
2. Eat a healthy diet that’s rich in vitamins and fiber to boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. Avoid sugar.
3. Manage your stress level. Even a quick smile can unclench your jaws and make your heart rate and blood pressure go down.
I lost my job because of the pandemic. What are my options for private dental insurance?
Delta Dental provides dental and vision insurance for individuals and families. We offer different plans at affordable rates, low deductibles and access to a large network of dentists and eye care providers. Visit DeltaDentalAR.com to learn more about our dental and vision insurance plans and to sign up to receive monthly oral health tips.