May 2, 2020
As a parent, you are always focused on your child’s health and safety. From making sure they eat their vegetables and monitoring their outdoor play to making sure they maintain good oral habits and tend to them when they’re sick, you go above and beyond to make sure they are well taken care of. Unfortunately, in the current climate, COVID-19 remains a substantial threat and is causing your child’s pediatric dentist to implement new safety protocols to ensure everyone is protected from the potential spread. As offices begin to reopen and your child’s first visit approaches, learn about these new measures that dental teams are using to prepare for the youngest patients.
The Prepping Process: Steps Your Child’s Dentist is Taking
At least for now, you won’t walk into your child’s dental office to see smiling faces staring back at you. These will remain behind face masks to protect against airborne particles. You will also no longer see many of the fun and exciting activities for your child to enjoy while waiting for their appointment. Though pediatric dentists are known for creating an enjoyable and playful environment, these precautionary measures are necessary to keep everyone safe.
As unfortunate and displeasing as this “new normal” may be, most dental professionals hope that it is only temporary.
So, what else are they doing in preparation for you and your child’s visit? Let’s take a look:
- Identifying a Safety Champion to monitor the cleaning of surfaces and treatment rooms, greeting visitors, and ensuring all social distancing efforts are enforced.
- Allowing additional time between appointments to minimize the number of individuals in the dental office at one time.
- Providing training to dental teams to increase awareness about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Preventing staff from wearing scrubs outside the dental office by requiring everyone to change into and out of their work clothes while at work.
- Increasing cleaning efforts by allowing for more time after a patient leaves to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect all frequently touched areas as well as equipment and dental instruments.
- Making sure all staff members are healthy by performing daily temperature checks and requiring those who are sick or displaying symptoms related to COVID-19 to remain at home until cleared to return to work.
What You and Your Child Can Do
Although many dental offices are requesting that only the patient arrives for their appointment, this isn’t exactly feasible when considering it is necessary for you to be with them during their visit. To prepare for this, there are a few things you and your child can do to minimize the potential risk of contracting or exposing others to harmful bacteria and viruses, such as:
- Maintaining good oral hygiene at home
- Thoroughly washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
- Using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available
- Wearing a face mask when entering the dental office
- Performing an antimicrobial rinse before your appointment to eliminate as many germs and bacteria as possible
Together, with your help, everyone will get through this difficult time. If you or your child have any concerns about an upcoming appointment, make sure to contact a member of the team to discuss. This will give you both greater peace of mind as you prepare for your return.
About the Author
Dr. Marty Killeen has been in private practice since 2006. Graduating from the University of Nebraska College of Dentistry where he completed his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 2004, he went on to complete a pediatric dental specialty residency at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Leading a team of dental professionals at Wilderness Station Pediatric Dentistry, they are taking every precaution to ensure your child’s next visit is one that is safe, effective, and successful. Making sure to abide by necessary protocols, Dr. Killeen is implementing ways in which increased sanitation will provide a clean environment for everyone. To find out more about the steps being taken at our dental office, visit our website or call (402) 420-8020.
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