Covid Lockdown Update And General Oral Care Advice

Our Burton practice remains open during the current restrictions

Well, it’s fair to say that our last blog didn’t age that well. A few days after announcing a tier system, here we are again, back in a full national lockdown, except that this time, there are a number of differences with some sectors remaining open. Whilst much attention has been given to schools and universities being allowed to open, the good news for patients of Mike Allen’s Dental Practice is that this time around, dentists are staying open as well.

This is very good news as the last thing that any dentist wanted was to see the backlog of appointments that we are working through as fast as we can, lengthen again. A lot of things seem to have been learned from the first lockdown, including lack of access to care potentially harming the nation’s health and wellbeing.

Improved safety protocols

One important factor in dental practices remaining open is the additional protection that has been put into place for both staff and patients. With the addition of PPE, social distancing, hand sanitation stations and fallow time between patients for additional cleaning, dental clinics are safe environments for our patients.

Naturally, not all risks can be entirely eliminated and we all have a role to play in keeping ourselves and others safe. For example, if you are feeling unwell when your appointment is due, please don’t risk it thinking that you are ‘probably’ OK. Just one case could spread very quickly and affect both staff and patients. If you are unsure, please be on the safe side and cancel your appointment and get tested. We do appreciate our patients following these guidelines and we will do all that we can to re-arrange a prompt appointment when you are clear again.

Could dentists close later on?

Nobody knows for sure how this lockdown will impact the number of new Covid-19 cases but there is every indication that it will reduce them over the next few weeks. Given this, we feel that it is very unlikely that dentists will have to close. In the unlikely event that there is any change to this, we will post updated advice on our website.

Look after yourself

As some of you will know, we are still currently prioritising more urgent cases, and some of you may have been waiting for a re-arranged appointment for some time. Please be assured that we are doing all that we can to get back to a situation where we can see our patients for routine check ups as quickly (but safely) as we can. In the meantime, there are a number of things that you can do to minimise the risk of having to receive emergency dental care. Most of these are well known but are always worth repeating.

Even if you are currently not working and have been furloughed, try to keep to a good oral health regime and brush your teeth both morning and very last thing at night. Just because you may not be leaving the house doesn’t mean you should skip this important part of your oral care.

Use a few minutes of your time to learn how to use dental floss if you don’t already. It really isn’t hard to do with a little practise and is excellent at removing food and bacteria from the spaces between your teeth.

Have a look at your toothbrush. Does it look old and worn? If so, now is the time to replace it or maybe put a new electric toothbrush on your Christmas ‘wish list’ (yes, it really is that close!)

Avoid too much ‘comfort eating’. This is rarely healthy or good for your teeth. Save the chocolate for special occasions and try to eat a healthy and tooth friendly diet.

Get some exercise. Even a good brisk walk will make you feel better. In addition to the fresh air, it will strengthen the heart muscles and help to pump oxygen around the body which enables us to fight infections better. It will also help to lift your mood as well, especially on a sunny day.

If you follow this advice and, hopefully, avoid any accidents, there is every chance that a delay in your appointment won’t cause any significant problems. Remember too that some hygienist appointments are available. This is a good way of helping to keep your teeth and gums healthy and is something that we recommend to all of our Burton patients.

If you need to see a dentist urgently because you have a toothache or have damaged a tooth, please give us a call and we will do all that we can to see you as soon as possible. You can contact us by calling Mike Allen’s Dental Practice on 01283 845345.