Hawaii Dental Service on safety measures put in place to protect kupuna
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Many seniors are vulnerable during the pandemic and seeing a dentist may not be top of mind at this time. However, Hawaii Dental Service is sharing some tips that may help seniors maintain good oral health and perhaps ease some fears about dentist visits. HI Now host Kanoe Gibson spoke with HDS participating dentist Dr. Cecile Sebastian to learn more.
Dr. Sebastian’s dental office is equipped with extra personal protective equipment and has modified certain procedures to limit unnecessary aerosols. The staff there have also spaced out appointments so they have time to sanitize between patients. Patients are also screened before they get in the dentist chair.
“We let our patients know about the safety measures taken and precautions done in dental offices to allow them to make their decisions about when to return,” says Dr. Sebastian. “Almost all dental offices have incorporated safety measures to ensure patients and the dental staff feel safe.”
Dental services, most especially preventive care, are essential and even more important today to keep you healthy. Studies have shown that healthier patients are more resistant to succumbing to the virus so people are getting healthier by exercising more. One of the best ways to keep your body healthy is by keeping your oral health in optimum condition as the mouth is the portal to the human body. Any inflammation, bacteria in the mouth can easily be transferred throughout the body.
To patients who don’t want to see a dentist due to the pandemic, Dr. Sebastian advises weighing the risks versus the advantages.
“In the grand scheme of things, dentists are essential because many dental problems can lead to worse problems if left untreated,” she says. “Our hospitals can be at capacity, and we don’t want to add any dental patients to the problem.”
With constant mask wearing, dentists are also concerned with frequent mouth breathing leading to dry mouth, which can lead to more cavities.
“So wear your mask diligently and stay hydrated. Drink more frequently as well,” she adds. “I encourage patients to call their dentist or dental office and simply ask what safety measures they have in place. Since the vaccine is out, dentists and their staff should be vaccinated soon if they haven’t been already. These will sure ease patients’ anxieties or fears about visiting their dentist.”
For more information: HawaiiDentalService.com, or on Facebook and Instagram: @hawaiidentalservice
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