Coronavirus Prevention Update!
Posted March 14, 2020
These days everyone is talking about COVID-19, the "Coronavirus," so we thought we'd provide you with an update on how it may impact your oral health.
Although we have had zero known exposures or incidences in the office, here are a few reminder tips!
As a Utah Business and a provider of healthcare services, we feel it is important for you to know what we are doing and how we are preparing for this in a (unlikely) event that we have contact with someone who is infected in our office.
As always we maintain the following OSHA standards in our office:
- Frequent handwashing by our dental team
- Masks and gloves for all procedures
- Disinfection of all rooms between each patient
- Barrier protection including plastic and rubber shields and covers between each patient
- Sterilization using surgical-grade steam sterile equipment between each procedure
As with other "scares" in the past, including the swine flu, colds and flu season, etc., we maintain your safety as our priority. We simply wouldn't have it any other way.
A few months ago, I sent this information about protecting yourself during flu season, and I believe it will benefit you for this potential outbreak as well.
Your mouth is the gateway to your body.
The Coronavirus can potentially be transmitted by respiratory droplets (especially within 6 feet of someone), meaning the quality of air you breathe, and by touching an unclean surface from someone who has been exposed. (See UCSF report.)
Many people are mouth breathers, but our noses are much better filters for bacteria and bad things we don't want in our lungs and mouths. Focusing on nose breathing, rather than mouth breathing not only helps prevents viruses and bacteria from getting into your lungs, it prevents dry mouth, and it will help you sleep and feel better.
Home hygiene guidelines from the CDC
- "Household members should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves and after contact with an ill person, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
- Household members should follow normal preventive actions while at work and home including recommended hand hygiene and avoiding touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After using the restroom
- Before eating or preparing food
- After contact with animals or pets
- Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)"
Additional key times to clean hands include:
Keeping your mouth healthy
Some new research from California State University confirmed that brushing your teeth at least twice per day reduces the chance of pneumonia and flu. The researchers found that patients with hospital stays who brushed their teeth at least two times per day had significantly lower numbers of pneumonia and airborne infections.
The researchers at Cal State found that when you have extensive medical care or hospital stays, the environment in your mouth is significantly disrupted and therefore at risk for contaminating the gateways to airborne infections in your body, which are your mouth and lungs. Keep this in mind as we approach flu season. It should help reduce the level of colds, cough, flu and potential pneumonia in your household.
One bad tooth can have up to 1 BILLION bad bacteria, and can compromise your immune system. If you have any needed dental work you've been putting off, there's never been a better time to ensure you nose, throat and mouth stay as healthy as possible to avoid bad "bugs" that can cause other problems our leave you vulnerable to other medical conditions.
Our office will remain open for our regular work schedule to serve you as the news develops, and please reach out to us with any questions.
The video below is one about bad breath and keeping your mouth healthy that I made some time ago, and much of these tips can apply to helping keep you safe from other viruses and bad bacteria as well.
Have a great week, and keep your mouth extra healthy!
Dr. Tyler Williams