Over the past nine months, people have shuttered themselves indoors except for when absolutely necessary. The qualifications for what was necessary mostly involved groceries and prescription pickups. Once medical offices began to once again see their patients, dental practices opened their doors as well. The risk of COVID, however, outweighed the perceived necessity of preventative dental care. For this reason, many people opted out of their regularly scheduled cleanings. 

The trouble with this safety precaution, unbeknownst to us at the time, was the fact that months of isolation would lead to a lot of depression. The first thing to fall to the wayside during periods of depression is self-care. Dental maintenance and hygienic rituals fell down the list of priorities. The combination of not being diligent at home and not having professional cleanings has proven to be very turbulent. Home health routines are ultra-important, both for your family and yourself. This is especially true right now.

Babies and toddlers also missed out on important dental visits. Cavities and baby teeth are the things a dentist looks for and keeps a record of with young children. Baby appointments were skipped because of COVID. Cavities can become worse when left untreated, so it’s important to catch them early. 

Every single day, show your children how important regular brushing is. Let them mimic your brushing routine – two minutes, twice a day. Avoid surgery drinks like juice, and offer them water and milk instead. In addition, sugary foods are the number one cause of cavities, so avoid them when possible. If they do have a sugary snack, it’s important to brush as soon as possible. The amount and duration both affect the impact. Many dentists are stressing the use of flossing at least twice a day during the quarantine.

Finally, as soon as possible in your area, take your child to the dentist again. This applies to adults as well, since they also need periodic cleanings. If you are still unsure, call ahead to ask about the safety protocols being put into place. 

Thanks to technology, it’s also possible to schedule a virtual telehealth visit with a pediatrician. By looking at photos and videos, the provider can make an assessment and determine whether a dental visit is necessary.