Have you been delaying your child’s dental visits due to COVID? If so, you’re not alone. A national poll suggests that a third of parents say the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to get dental care for their children. Since the pandemic began, 40% of parents have avoided seeking care at all, citing concerns about infection, office closures and cost.
But did you know that your child’s oral and overall health are at an increased risk by delaying dental care? Regular dental care helps keep children’s teeth healthy and addresses any dental problems before they become more serious. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends that children receive regular teeth cleaning and exams every six months, starting when their first tooth comes in, in order to:
- identify and treat tooth decay
- apply protective treatments like sealants and fluoride varnish
- educate parents and kids about good dental hygiene
- ensure your child’s teeth and jaw are growing properly
By delaying visits, treatment can become more invasive and costly. Routine cleanings can require a longer appointment or additional follow-up due to an increase in tooth decay. In addition, small problems can turn into big problems. For example, an untreated cavity can cause an abscess, which can cause severe infections and impact the development of adult teeth.
Today, most parents (67%) believe it’s safe for their child to get dental care at this point in the pandemic. Dr. Christi Davis, DDS, PA says “People are returning slowly but surely. Our office has been seeing an uptick in cavities due to pandemic snacking and delay of visits.”
At Brier Creek Pediatric Dentistry, we do everything to protect the health and safety of our patients, parents and staff. Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and follows the following protocols:
- Masks are required to enter our office
- Air purifiers have been installed throughout the office
- Cleaning procedures above and beyond our usual cleaning routines have been implemented, using a disinfectant effective against COVID-19
- Our staff wears additional PPE to keep them and our patients safe
- Our office will ask health screening questions prior to your visit and upon your arrival
- Hand sanitizer is located throughout the office for you to use as needed
- We no longer offer magazines or children’s toys in the waiting area, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect
- Appointments are managed to allow for social distancing between patients
Schedule a dental appointment if your kids are overdue, or if there is a dental problem you’ve been ignoring. We look forward to seeing you and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 919 806-0200 or visit our website at bcpediatricdentistry.com.
Sources: Michigan Health, Mott Children’s Hospital, Consumer Reports, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD)