At Heroes Dental, our main concern is the health and safety of your children. Now more than ever, we would like to stress to you the importance of taking care of yourself and your dental health. It may seem as though flossing and cavities aren’t important right now, but if anything is certain during these uncertain times, the opposite is actually true. By making sure you and your loved ones are being mindful and keeping up with their dental health, you’re saving yourself oral health complications in the long run.
Things may feel up in the air right now, but our country and the rest of the world are coming together to fight this pandemic, and that unity is what will bring us through this difficult time. Heroes Dental wants to do its part in fighting this health crisis, and if you or a loved one experience a dental emergency during this time, the McAllen pediatric dentists of Heroes Dental are still here to help. Remember: there are people who can help you and your family even in the most uncertain of times.
What is COVID-19, and How Serious is It?
The name “COVID-19” actually carries a lot of information with it. The first half, COVID, means a coronavirus disease, and the “19” means that this coronavirus was first identified in 2019. It is a highly contagious respiratory illness associated with mild–to even severe–symptoms like cough, fever, and difficulty breathing depending on the person.
Trouble breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, and/or bluish lips or face, on the other hand, are all serious signs of the infection and should be taken as a sign to get immediate medical help. If you do need to leave your house to seek medical care, try to wear a mask if you can.
While the coronavirus may affect individuals differently, most of the people that are severely affected are the elderly, those who have respiratory complications, the immunocompromised, people who suffer from heart disease or diabetes, and women who are pregnant.
Our Pediatric Dentists Want You to Practice Self-Care During This Health Crisis
While the situation in general may be stressful, it’s important not to leave out things like dental health. After all, we know dental health is closely related to overall health. There are lots of things you can do to keep your mouth and teeth happy without leaving the house during the pandemic, such as:
1. Maintain a healthy diet — Eating right is important not only for your dental health, but also for your general health, and, more importantly, your immune system. It may be tempting to eat a lot of comforting, sugary foods, but that same sugar can weaken your teeth, especially if you’re not brushing frequently. Avoid drinks like soda and coffee, and cut back on hard candies and salty snacks like potato chips, and instead opt in for healthier alternatives that are known to help reinforce the immune system like veggies (e.g. garlic, spinach, and grapefruit) and poultry (e.g. chicken soup). These are all loaded with Vitamin A, B-6, C, and E.
2. Keep up with your oral hygiene — With our regular activities so restricted, keeping up with our regular flossing and brushing can slip our minds. Even when we’re staying in and avoiding unhealthy foods, maintaining good dental health habits is incredibly important. Your schedule may be a bit thrown off right now, so if you’re struggling to remember your dental hygiene, try setting alarms and reminders. Brushing twice a day and flossing once will help keep you and your loved one’s smile healthy and safe.
3. Use mindfulness techniques — In times of stress, teeth grinding or jaw clenching are common reactions. Unfortunately, these habits can cause headaches, earaches, and jaw pain. In an already intense time, you don’t need these extra concerns. If needed, leave yourself notes around the house to remind you to relax and unclench your jaw. If you find yourself struggling with headaches and jaw aches, there are jaw exercises that you can practice at home to help reduce tension in your mouth. General mindfulness techniques like meditation and deep breathing can also help you reduce stress and feel more grounded.
4. Practice proper sanitization techniques – Standard sanitizing procedures should be followed while sheltered in, in order to protect everyone in your home. Before and after you or your children brush your teeth and floss, wash your hands. Be sure to rinse your brush with warm water and let the bristles air dry by setting it upright. Don’t share your toothbrush with anyone, and replace it if you or your children are sick in order to prevent contamination. If the family’s toothbrushes are kept around the same area, make sure that enough space lies between them so that they do not touch.
5. Call your pediatric dentist if you have an emergency — While many dental practices are restricting hours, this doesn’t mean we aren’t available for emergencies. If you or a loved one experiences a dental emergency (e.g. profuse oral bleeding, loose or lost teeth, or jaw injury), call our office. We can help you find ways to alleviate some problems or schedule an emergency visit if needed.
How You Can Help Fight the Spread of the Virus
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the best way you and your loved ones can stay safe during this time is by staying home. Staying in not only prevents you and your family from contracting the virus from others, it also helps keep you from spreading the virus. In many cases, the virus is contagious for over a week before it shows any symptom. Many people could have the virus but not know, so the best idea is to stay home as much as you can.
The virus can spread to anyone within 6 feet of an infected person and is transferred via respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze. To avoid the risk of unknowingly transferring the illness to yourself or others, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Be sure to wash your hands any time you have been in a public place and after you’ve sneezed, coughed, or blown your nose.
Within your own home or at work, every day, clean and disinfect any surfaces you touch frequently. Use soap and water before disinfectant. If you feel sick, stay home except when seeking medical care, and wear a facemask when leaving the house. If you are caring for someone who is sick, you should wear a mask if they are unable to.
All of the precautions taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are especially important for those at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms.
Your McAllen Pediatric Dentist At Heroes Dental Want You to Stay Healthy and Safe
Our patients’ safety and health are our number one concerns, and we will do everything we can to help fight this together. As a part of that effort, our offices are closing except in case of an emergency.
If you do need to speak to a dental professional about an emergency, there are some basic steps you can take to keep your family and our’s safe. First, call ahead. Our office hours are restricted, and we are not accepting walk-ins of any kind. Secondly, if you do need to leave the house, avoid groups and public places.
And lastly, stay calm. Staying calm during an emergency can be incredibly difficult, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Panicking can make it harder for others to understand your situation, and it can make it harder to think through what steps to take. To help yourself stay calm, try taking deep breaths, and remember to seek help if you need it.
If you have an emergency, there are people who can help. If you or a loved one become seriously ill or are injured, call 911 or your doctor. While many who are ill are advised to stay home, serious illness and injury shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you are unsure whether to stay home or go to a hospital, call the hospital first for information.