Is It Safe To Go To Dentist Now During Covid?

Contrary to expectations, dental offices were found to be very safe, and compared to other healthcare services, dentists have shown maximum prevention of covid 19. The efficiency of dental offices to contain the spread of the virus could be attributed to the care and strict maintenance of standards set by health authorities of the state.

Dentists have taken extraordinary measures to keep the virus spread in check, and make sure patient safety is of paramount importance than anything else.

Hence, it is absolutely safe to visit a dentist and get treatments too, during the pandemic. The facts are self-evident, and research proves beyond doubt that dentists are considered safest and to be at the top in combating the viral spread, despite the risks, despite the apprehensions, despite doubts, despite the vulnerable working environment, despite dealing with aerosols from open mouths.

How do dentists make their offices safe for their patients?

The following describes steps taken by dental offices, simply by adhering to rules laid down by authorities and also continuing to provide perfect sterilization protocols that have been in use for decades, even before covid started.

The latest survey by American Dental Association stares that less than 1% of all the dentists tested positive for the virus and this is attributable to the safety policies and disinfection practices at all the dental offices.

Even during a pandemic, it’s still safe to go to the dentist. That’s what the American Dental Association is telling the public.

Be assured that we have taken all the measures for your safety and do visit us for your dental needs.

In this pandemic, while we have planned to open our clinics and provide expert dental treatments, one major thing to consider is to provide a safe environment to our patients and staff.

Before you visit us, please have a look on the safety measures taken by us for you which are according to the norms provided by the Dental Council of India (DCI).

COVID Precautions at the Reception Area

  1. Disposable shoe covers for patients before entering the clinic.
  2. Screening of body temperature and oxygen saturation levels of all patients and staff.
  3. Providing hand sanitizer containing Isopropyl alcohol.
  4. A detailed patient consent and declaration regarding COVID 19 and general diseases with recent travel history
  5. Maintaining physical distancing in the waiting area with well planned staggered appointments.
  6. Increased sanitization with regular disinfecting of floors, door knobs and handles with 1% Sodium Hypochlorite.

COVID Precautions at the Treatment Area

  1. Treatment rooms divided into 3 parts according to the type of treatment done.
    Only checkups, Non-aerosol producing, and aerosol producing procedures to prevent cross-contamination.
  2. Maintaining air circulation with natural air through the frequent opening of windows.
  3. Regular disinfection of treatment rooms including dental chairs after each treatment.
  4. Dentists to use PPE including mouthmasks, head caps, face shields, gloves, and full-body gowns while doing treatments. PPE is changed or sterilized after treating each patient to minimize the risk of cross-contamination.
  5. Use of sanitized and autoclaved instruments packaged in sterile disposable covers.
  6. Patients provided with headcaps and protective eyewear during aerosol producing treatments.
  7. Use of mouth rinse containing 0.5% povidone-iodine solution for 30 sec before the start of treatments.

Your safety is ensured, guaranteed, and responsibly taken care of. Visit your dentist, without doubt, and maintain oral hygiene by following your dentist’s suggestions. However, we need to strictly adhere to the rules and guidelines laid down by authorities and dental offices


Why Dentists Are Reporting Low Rate of Covid-19?

The apprehension of visiting a dentist during Covid-19 pandemic is widespread and quite understandable.

There is a requirement for immediate reassurance from the dental fraternity, to educate the general public about the facts and care taken during this crisis.

Primarily we need to understand the importance of maintaining oral hygiene and dental health.

Why is dental health important?

  1. Infections in teeth and gums can be carried to other parts of the body like the heart or other organs.
  2. Long-standing deposits or calculus destroys the gums.
  3. Loss of teeth associated with pain and swelling
  4. Food lodgement
  5. Halitosis
  6. Difficulties in chewing

…and many more associated disorders.

This would lead to a compromised situation that becomes complex to treat, taking a lot of effort, time, and expenditure.

Prevention is always better than cure. Visiting a dentist is a must.

How could we visit dentists during a pandemic?

This is to enlighten everyone about the care taken by dentists and staff, not only during Covid-19, but since many decades ago.

We need to understand that viral infections like HIV, Hepatitis B, etc have been some of the greatest challenges dentists ever faced. As more and more strains of viruses unleashed, it became paramount to safeguard the health of dental staff and their patients. Hepatitis B and HIV are more dangerous than Covid-19, and any dentist could be mist unfortunate to get infected,  because, infection, would mean a sure collapse of body’s immune response.

It was since then that almost all dental offices stringently started following strict sterilization protocols. Safety for patients and safety for the staff was the primary requirement.

Sterilization with chemical disinfectants like povidone-iodine, surgical spirit, phenols, and many latest products available in the market ensures primary safety. Viruses die in these media.

Autoclaving, radiation with UV light, ethylene oxide, and fumigation assures 100% safety against any microorganism.

Mouth masks, mouthwashes, Betadine rinses, headgear, face shields, gloves, respirators, PPE kits, suction kits, and everything else have been brought into full use by dentists. And these safety precautions greatly reduced the chance of any infections.

This fact has been proven beyond doubt even before Covid-19 started.

Following the same sterilization protocols with Covid-19, and some additional measures like

  1. Telephonic consultations
  2. Avoiding crowding by offering spaced appointments, with half an hour gaps
  3. Repeat sterilization after every patient is checked
  4. Effective disposal management with great care
  5. Maximum utilization of disposables
  6. Taking proper history according to government rules
  7. Strictly adhering to health department directives
  8. Regular Covid checks
  9. Minimalistic aerosol producing procedures
  10. Proper follow-up to ensure the patient is safe and uninfected.

– resulted in less than 1% of dentists reporting Covid-19.

This is indeed a spectacular control and management of Covid-19 virus in the dental setups. Research proved there has been substantially low Covid cases with dentists compared to other health departments.

Dentists also advocated certain lifestyle changes like diet modifications, regular exercise, maintenance of oral hygiene, use of Betadine rinses, and other adjuncts that could help their patients stay protected from the virus.

This is absolutely great news for all those who fear going to the dentist in these times.

Dentists reassure you.

Fear not, for well-established facts speak for themselves the safety at a dental office. Select an office that follows rules to the word and comply with the instructions,  and we are sure we would be safe.

Dental treatments can unquestionably and undoubtedly performed, even for senior citizens, under a controlled environment.

Dentists suggest not to delay any treatments, as it might complicate things.

Visit your dentist today, but follow their instructions and advice, we bet Covid-19 will not reach you.

Teething Problems in Babies and Solutions

teething problems in babies

What is teething

Teething is a normal physiological process involves tooth movements inside the jaw(bone) until the time they come into the oral cavity(mouth) by piercing the gum.

The first set of teeth that erupts into the oral cavity are called milk teeth or primary teeth. Teething starts from 6 months of age, while a variation of plus or minus 6 months is considered normal.

Teething begins with the lower-front tooth (central incisors) at the age of 6 months. Occasionally a lower-front tooth may even be present at birth called as natal tooth and if tooth erupts into mouth within the first month they are called as the neonatal tooth.

The first set of teeth completes their eruption by 3 years of age with a total of 20 primary teeth. The second set of teeth or permanent teeth starts erupting into the mouth from 6 years of age and continues until 12 to 13 years of age. Wisdom tooth however typically erupts during late teens to adolescence.

Teething Problems in Babies

For few babies teething can be distressful, considering pressure from erupting teeth leave the child to uncomfortable gum irritation and in some babies, teething can even be pain full; excessive saliva lead to drooling, disturbed sleep, stomach upset (vomiting, diarrhoea), loss of appetite(hunger) etc are frequently related tooth eruption.

Babies between 6-12 months are more susceptible to the above-mentioned symptoms.

The Teething window is typically an eight-day duration; four days before the eruption of tooth followed by three days after tooth eruption or tooth emergence. In the first four days, the teething associated pain is constant, dull in nature with growing intensity until the emergence of the tooth followed by a fast decrease in pain unless associated with inflammation. In the case of inflammation, it might require a little longer time to resolve.

Teething Problems and Solutions

Non Pharmacological Pharmacological
  • Chilled Teething Rings
  • Frozen fruits & Vegetables
  • Rubbing gum with chilled spoon / clean finger
  • Gum soothing gels
  • Pain killer syrups
  • Anti Inflamatory Syrups

Excess saliva production and drooling are associated with teething and cause wetting of lower lip & chin, which might further lead to the formation of rash around the lips. This should be cleaned or wiped away as and when required.

Piece of ice wrapped in a towel placed on gum over the erupting teeth for 1-2 min of time.

Teething rings: Teething rings can provide relief for some time, rings are best when they are chilled to freezing temperature. Teething rings are attached to the child’s clothes.fluid filled teething rings for infants

Solid silicone rings are preferred over fluid-filled rings as they may leak.

Massaging the child’s gum: Parents asked to massage with their clean fingertips or very soft finger toothbrushes for 1-2 min.

Frozen fruits and vegetables or even chilled spoon can also be used to relieve pain.

Topically applied gum soothing gels can be used. Around peanut-sized amount of gel should be taken over a clean finger or cotton bud and applied by gently massaging on painful gum region for about 15 – 20 min, 4-5 times a day.

Sugar-free plain paracetamol syrup is another choice for teething infants. The dose can be repeated every six-hourly intervals with a maximum of four doses a day.

Things to remember about Teething of Babies

  • Sugar-free medication should only be used, the presence of sugar might cause tooth decay.
  • Only inert teething objects are recommended.
  • Medicines should not be added to feeding bottles because it is difficult to monitor the dose.

When to Start Brushing Your Kid’s Teeth

brushing baby tooth

If you are wondering what is the correct age to start brushing your kid’s teeth, you might be surprised to know that you should start brushing you baby’s tooth as soon as the very first tooth comes out; usually starts with the lower front tooth by 6 to 9 months of age.

Benefits of Introducing Early Brushing in Kids

1st reason: Initiating brushing at early ages help the kid to get used for brushing, they never resist form brushing in their later life thereby it helps to maintain healthier teeth.
2nd reason: As soon as the tooth comes into the mouth, the tooth gets exposed to n number of things like the stuff we eat, drink, bacteria itself in mouth and saliva all together forms smear layer on the tooth which is called plaque. Plaque provides shelter for bacteria their by helps in multiplication and activity of bacteria leads to tooth decay and gum problems. So brushing helps to remove tenacious plaque on teeth their by healthier teeth.

Are there any special toothbrushes available for kids?

Yes, till baby turns one and half years of age use baby toothbrushes they are good enough to remove plaque from teeth other than baby brushes finger toothbrushes and silicon tips are available but they are not as effective as baby toothbrushes in removing plaque.

From 18 months of age shift from baby brush to junior brush with little bigger head & soft bristles.

Battery operated brushes are as good as manual brushes and they are recommended from 6 years of age.

How to do brushing in kids

While performing brushing on a baby who is under 2 years of age take a knee to knee position flip the lip up processed on upper teeth for lower teeth flip the lower lip out, for back teeth use the index finger to pouch inside the cheek pull it little outwards.

Position for brushing toddler 2 to 3 years take the baby on lap, rest their head on your upper body, secure their body with one hand then start brushing your toddler’s teeth.

From what age kids can brush by their own

Till 6 years of age parents or primary caregivers should brush for their kids. From the age of 6 to 10 brushing should happen in the supervision of parents or caregivers.

Toothpaste recommendations for kids

Fluoride is one main ingredient in toothpaste to look for its presence as it helps in preventing loss of calcium from the tooth.

Based on fluoride toothpaste are of 3 types:

  • No Fluoride: Contains 0 fluoride, used in under 1 year of age
  • Less Fluoride: Contains 500 ppm fluoride. Recommended in 1 to 3 years age, provided baby has good oral health. Presence of any cavitated tooth indicates baby at high risk of dental caries, advised to use regular toothpaste.
  • Regular Fluoride: Contains 1000 ppm fluoride. Recommended from 3 of age onwards

Amount of Toothpaste to use for brushing

1 to 3 years of age use smear of toothpaste which is pressed into the bristles. From 3 to 6 years of age peanut-sized amount of toothpaste is used.

When to Brush

Tooth brushing should happen twice daily. Once in the morning and once at nights.

Brushing at nights before going to bed helps to remove the plaque from teeth and prevents dental caries and gum problems. Brushing in the morning helps to provide fresh feel or fresh breath as we all know at nights body reflexes are relaxed that’s where even our saliva production gets little reduced that helps the bacteria to active in mouth whole night leads to bad breath once we get up in the morning.

When it comes to brushing your kid’s teeth, remember –

  • Introduce early brushing as soon as the first tooth comes in mouth
  • Perform twice daily brushing
  • Less intake of sugars in diet followed by regular dental visits will help your kid to maintain good oral health entire their life.

8 Ways to Prevent and Relieve Tooth Sensitivity

tooth sensitivity treatment

If you pass on hot or cold drinks because you know they’ll make your teeth hurt, it may be time to talk to your dentist about the possibility that you have sensitive teeth. Sometimes other things can aggravate them, too, like sweet and sour foods or even cold air.

Why does tooth sensitivity occur?

Tooth sensitivity occurs when the layer of a tooth underneath the enamel (called the dentin) or the layer covering the root (called cementum) is exposed along the gum line causing receding gums.

The dentin contains microscopic channels called tubules, which are pathways to the nerve. When dentinal tubules are exposed, due to receding gum tissue or enamel loss, nerves are more easily triggered by heat, cold, sweet or sour foods and cause sharp shooting pain in your teeth.

Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitive teeth can be caused by the following dental issues:

  • Worn tooth enamel from using a hard toothbrush and using a hard grip while brushing aggressively.
  • Tooth erosion due to highly acidic foods and beverages.
  • Tooth decay, worn leaky fillings and broken teeth that expose the dentin of your tooth.
  • Gum recession that leaves your root surface exposed.
  • Grinding your teeth at night.
  • Post dental treatment sensitivity – common, but temporary, especially with procedures such as crowns, fillings and tooth bleaching.

Treatment for Tooth Sensitivity

We at The Dental Specialists will evaluate your teeth thoroughly and assess your-grade of sensitivity.
Treatment may be as simple as fixing a cavity or replacing a worn filling. However, if your discomfort comes from gum loss exposing root surfaces, our periodontist may suggest a gum graft to protect the root surface and support of the tooth.

  • Desensitizing toothpaste: This contains compounds that help block transmission of sensation from the tooth surface to the nerve, and usually requires several applications before the sensitivity is reduced.
  • Laser treatments to fuse (close) the tunnels.
  • Fluoride gel:An in-office technique which strengthens tooth enamel and reduces the transmission of sensations.
  • A crown, inlay or bonding: These may be used to correct a flaw or decay that results in sensitivity.
  • Surgical gum graft: If gum tissue has been lost from the root, this will protect the root and reduce sensitivity.
  • Root canal: If sensitivity is severe and persistent and cannot be treated by other means, your dentist may recommend this treatment to eliminate the problem.

8 ways to relieve and prevent tooth sensitivity

  • Use a soft-bristled brush and brush with gentle strokes
  • Consider using desensitising paste
  • Cut down on acidic foods and soft drinks
  • Do not rush to brush after having citrus juices
  • Avoid grinding your teeth ( ask your dentist about mouth guard)
  • Take a break from teeth whitening a.k.a bleaching
  • Warm saline mouth rinses could relieve your sensitivity
  • See your dentist and talk about your sensitivity

How to Prevent Mouth Ulcers – Dr. Ruheena Explains

Mouth ulcers are a common and painful problem that most of us face. Dr.Ruheena, in this video, explains how to prevent mouth ulcers. The video is in Telugu.