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DENTAL CONSIDERATIONS WHILE HOME SHELTERING

April 17th, 2020

From the desk of Stuart F. Fass, D.D.S.

We’re all still stuck in the same loop. Social distancing and staying home as much as possible are the new norm, at least for a while. But some interesting human behaviors seem to kick in during these trying times, some good and some not so much.
We’re spending more time with our kids at home and maybe taking a more active role in their education. With the weather changing, we see more people out in the daytime walking and biking for exercise, and more daily menus consist of home cooked meals rather than fast food or restaurants (which may or may not be a benefit depending on your culinary skills). And there’s less pollution, especially in big cities like Los Angeles which have so much automobile traffic.
But there are negative effects also. Personal hygiene may be somewhat relaxed since public interaction is limited. For my part, I’ve allowed my beard to grow (for no specific reason). But one recent online source reported that 1 in 5 people admitted to not brushing their teeth daily! I see snack food shelves more empty in the stores as well. Some of my acquaintances admit to snacking more as well. We really don’t need to see an increase in dental disease from this situation.
Since you can’t go to your dentist for routine care, especially the routine check-up and cleaning appointments that are so critical for early diagnosis and treatment of minor problems, it is imperative that you take care to practice good oral hygiene daily. Of course, we remain available to handle any emergencies in our office. We want to avoid hospital visits by patients with dental problems. These waste valuable emergency room resources and usually lead to no good resolution of the problems. Always call your dental office first as walk in visits are being strongly discouraged due to the need for pre-screening on the phone.
Finally, as we all seem to be spending more time on the internet, the proliferation of DIY (do it yourself) information is concerning. Everything from DIY orthodontic treatment to activated charcoal dentifrice, to “oil pulling” is out there. Even some pretty ridiculous claims for COVID prevention and cure are floating around. Do your research carefully and don’t get fooled by claims on web sites that sound too good to be true. Have a question? Call our office and we’ll be happy to do a phone consult to provide any information you might need.
Be well and STAY SAFE!

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