Healthy Teeth And Gums During Second Lockdown

Your Epsom dentist offers useful tips and information

Dentist chairSo, here we are again; it has for a while felt like there was an inevitability about the UK going into a second lockdown and it has finally arrived. There are differences this time though and a combination of more flexibility and better knowledge about how to control Covid-19 will hopefully mean that we won’t find things quite as restrictive as last time.

One thing that has changed is that patients of the Clock Tower Dental Clinic can still attend our practice for their appointments. Unlike last time, when dental practices were forced to close, we are allowed to stay open during the second lockdown which is due to end on December 2nd.

Some of you might wonder why this is the case? After all, the virus can still be deadly and dentists couldn’t open their practices before. There are many reasons for this which we will briefly explore here.

PPE and other protective measures

PPE was the big story earlier on and obtaining sufficient to be able to treat patients was a significant challenge. Thankfully, we managed to do this and now PPE is more widely available and there are no shortages, meaning that patient appointments can go ahead as planned.

There are also a number of other things that have been put in place to keep patients and staff safe. Social distancing notices have been placed throughout the practice and the reception area arranged to making seating safer. The reception area also has a Hepa air purifier which helps to clean the air throughout the practice. There is also now more ‘fallow time’ between appointments, allowing additional time for thorough cleaning of the treatment room between patients.

These actions have enabled us to keep treating patients safely, although the restriction on the number of patients seen each day does mean that some routine check up appointments have needed to be cancelled. This is far from ideal and we are doing all that we can to work through this backlog as quickly (but safely) as possible.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums

Because patients are currently often being seen at longer than six monthly intervals, there is, inevitably, a greater chance of some dental problems arising. It is important therefore, that patients take extra care in looking after the health of their teeth and gums.

It is particularly important at this time that people make sure to clean their teeth well and also avoid eating too many potentially teeth damaging foods. This is easier said than done though and a change in our daily routine may mean that we let some of these basic, but important, things slip a little.

For those of us who are used to brushing our teeth before we leave for work, this no longer works if we are working from home and we may decide to check our emails before we brush our teeth. There is nothing wrong with this as such, but as many of us will know, there is always one email that needs an immediate response. Spending time replying to an important email may well lead to us forgetting our promise to ourself that we would brush our teeth afterwards. This could mean that you may not even brush your teeth until last thing at night when you go to bed.

However simple it is, do try to keep to a routine time when you brush your teeth in the morning. Some restrictions could apply beyond 2nd December and we may find ourselves working from home for some time yet. Creating a new ‘normal’ routine for these times will help us keep our teeth and gums healthy.

Also, please remember that whilst we all probably need to be kind to ourselves (and others) and allow a few occasional ‘treats’, it is important not to eat too many foods that are high in sugar, as this can be all too easy to do throughout the day when we are at home. Simple things like making sure that the biscuits are kept in the kitchen and not within easy reach of your working area will help.

Emergency appointments

Looking after our teeth well by brushing, flossing and eating sensibly will hopefully reduce the number of dental problems that arise. Unfortunately though, accidents or a small cavity may mean that you need to receive prompt treatment which can’t wait until your next regular appointment.

Our Epsom team is doing its absolute best to prioritise those most in need of treatment during this time. Emergency appointments are available and we ask that you provide our reception team with as much information as you can so that they can prioritise the most urgent cases.

Even if you have a toothache that is only causing mild discomfort, you should still make an appointment. Cavities always get larger and will require more extensive treatment the longer they are left. Similarly, a tooth that has broken is more prone to infection and decay and should be treated as soon as possible.

We hope that you all stay well and please comply with the lockdown guidance in order to keep the spread of this disease to a minimum. Please remember that we are open and if you need treatment or for any other advice, you can still call the Clock Tower Dental Clinic on our usual number which is 01372 720136.