Pune: As the dental services remain restricted only to emergency care during the coronavirus lockdown, dentists have advised people to follow strict oral hygiene and dental care during this period, along with maintaining a telephonic consultation with their dentist, wherever necessary.
Dr Ashutosh Javadekar has appealed to the patients to take basic guidelines from their dentists on the telephone, instead of directly paying a visit. “In case a patient is in pain, there are medications that can be prescribed to him/her by the dentist. If the treatment could be postponed safely, that was the best option at the moment,” he said.
He also insisted that the patients must understand the severity of the situation and not ask for any elective cosmetic procedures until the COVID-19 threat prevails.
Don’t hide health history from the dentist
Javadekar also stated that it was crucial that the patient was open about his/her recent medical illness history with his dentist even in case of emergency care. “If a patient recently had cold, cough or fever, or any of these while he/she visits the dentist, these symptoms must be honestly disclosed to the dentist. This is necessary not only for the protection of the medical professionals but also for the safety of the community,” he added.
Lesser emergency procedures
Consulting Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Dr JB Garde, who is also a professor and Head of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Department at MA Rangoonwala Dental College and Hospital, said, “Fortunately there are very few dental procedures which require emergency care such as management of acute dental pain, acute dentoalveolar abscess, acute pulpitis, oral malignancies and fulminating dental infection like Ludwig’s Angina.”
However, Javadekar also added that in real emergency cases, patients could reach out to hospital dental OPDs where treatment can be done by specialists using personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, following the strict guidelines of sterilisation.
Maintain your oral hygiene at home
- Never share a toothbrush. Make sure that toothbrush heads are also kept apart from each other
- Change your toothbrush every three months
- Keep your bathrooms clean
- Brush daily with a fluoride toothpaste
- Try to gargle with hot water and a pinch of salt in it. This can help to keep your throat and tongue clean
- Drink plenty of water and cut down on how much and how often you have sugary foods and drinks
- Clean between your teeth every day with interdental brushes or floss and consider using mouthwash