Health Report: Fairbanks dentists work hard to keep patients safe during COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 4:08 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -October is the American Dental Hygienists Association’s National Dental Health Awareness Month. We spoke with Jessica Glick, a local dental hygienist at the Four Corners Dental Group in Fairbanks for comment on how best to maintain your dental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Glick, the need to social distance and take precautions against exposure has resulted in many people unintentionally neglecting their dental health.

“Due to the pandemic, obviously people are not going to their routine appointments. They canceled a lot of their cleanings, checkups, fillings. It’s been steady. A lot of people have been a lot more cautious about coming into the office,” said Glick.

Glick elaborated on the precautions being taken by Four Corners Dental Group and other dental practices to ensure the health and safety of their patients.

"Our office and I think other offices in general are taking extra precautions - from doing routine screenings, hand sanitization, extra cleaning, [and] extra P.P.E. (Personal Protective Equipment). We’re doing an extra questionnaire, and a screening before you can even set foot into the office and with the temperature screenings I feel everything is somewhat normal but it’d gonna be a big change for everybody, not just in dental but also in medical.”

For people who want to avoid going into a dental office until the risk of COVID-19 has lessened, Glick offers some maintenance advice for taking proper care of your teeth at home.

"If you can’t make it to the dental office there’s extra things you can do at home such as brushing your teeth twice a day, morning and night. Flossing them. If you’re going to eat sugary or acidic things, do not actually brush your teeth directly afterward. You should let it sit there for about 30 minutes. Just rinse with water, and then brush your teeth. Because if you brush your teeth directly after eating you’re actually going to brush that acid into the tooth which will cause cavities. A cavity is not something that happens overnight. It takes months and years. So if you can keep up on just your regular basic brushing and flossing you’re probably going to be okay.”

National Dental Health Awareness month coincides with a holiday spike in sugary intake.

“With Halloween approaching and kids eating candy, making sure you’re helping your kids brush and floss their teeth at night. And another big thing is using the ACT fluoride rinse for your kids at home - rinsing and swishing with that after their done brushing and flossing,” said Glick.

Glick concluded by saying “Our office is always open 24/7 to come in for emergencies if you do end up having a tooth ache but for regular general people, if you can’t make it in to your office or you’re feeling a little bit leery because of the pandemic, brushing your teeth morning and night and flossing are the two basic key concepts you should take away from this,"

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