It’s September, which means back-to-school time for your kids. Of course, with the coronavirus pandemic, back to school looks a bit different this year. Your child might be learning at home, via an online classroom. If they are having in-person classes, their school supplies could include face masks, hand sanitizer, and other methods of protection against the spread of germs.
In these difficult new circumstances, it can be easy to forget things. However, one thing you shouldn’t forget is your child’s back-to-school dental visit. Here’s what to expect.
Why Back to School Dental Visits?
Why should children visit the dentist before going back to school? It’s largely a matter of convenience. Children and adults alike should see the dentist every six months. Summer is a perfect time for your child to do it because they have more free time and won’t have to miss school for the appointment.
Additionally, for any important task that must be done periodically, it helps to associate it with some other regularly scheduled event, to make it easier to remember. By putting dental visits on the back to school checklist, it becomes part of your yearly fall routine. “Back to school? Time to see the dentist!” is much easier than trying to remember, “When was their last appointment? March? June?”
What Happens During a Dental Visit?
The main thing your child’s dentist will do is provide a thorough cleaning, to eliminate plaque and bacteria from the tooth enamel. These things build up even with regular brushing and flossing, which is why dental visits are essential.
The other thing they might do is put a sealant on your child’s molars. A sealant keeps food debris from settling into the places that are hard for a toothbrush to reach. This prevents the spread of bacteria and reduces the risk of cavities by 80%.
If cavities or tooth decay are detected, they might need to take X-rays. If your child needs fillings, braces, or other, more involved dental work, your dentist might refer you to a specialist
Dental Visits During COVID?
Before you book a dental appointment, we need to address the elephant in the room: Is your child safe from COVID at the dentist? As long as your dentist is taking proper precautions, they should be. Medical visits and procedures still need to take place, so doctors and dentists are doing their best to prevent the spread of infection.
This could include reducing their number of appointment slots to spread patients out more. They might also ask you to wait in the car, instead of in the waiting room, and call you when they’re ready. Or they could reduce the number of chairs in the waiting room and get rid of magazines, toys, and other items that would be touched by multiple children.
Your child will most likely have to wear a mask until the dentist is ready to look in their mouth, and someone might take their temperature and ask how they’re feeling before the appointment. Your dentist is also cleaning their tools even more than usual and disinfecting all surfaces between each patient. Talk to your dentist beforehand and see what steps they’re taking to keep both you and your child safe throughout the appointment.
If you’re looking for a safe place with good oral care, contact Caven Dental for an appointment today!