Dental Practices Remain Open During Second Lockdown
Dental service and oral care advice for our Ipswich patients
Although this is a nationwide lockdown, there are some significant differences from the first one. The most widely known of these is that schools and universities are open this time around. The good news is that so are dental practices, including our own.
Patients of the Foxhall Dental Clinic will be pleased to know that we are still able to open for appointments and especially for those that need urgent treatment. Although we may not be able to see you quite as quickly as ‘normal’ times, we will do our very best to see you as soon as we possibly can.
Patient safety comes first
As those of you who have been able to attend our Ipswich dental clinic since the last lockdown will be aware, there have been a number of changes to the way that we operate in order to keep both our staff and our patients safe. These include:
PPE – Although our dentists have worn face masks and disposable gloves for some time, full PPE is now used to keep any possible Covid-19 transmission risks to an absolute minimum.
Social Distancing – You will see notices reminding patients to keep a distance from each other and the waiting room has been rearranged to facilitate this.
Hand sanitisers – Although many of us are now washing our hands better and at more regular intervals, we still strongly encourage the use of our hand sanitiser stations that are situated throughout the practice. You may have washed your hands before you left home, but, for example, touching a surface that has a lot of contact, such as on a bus, could still mean that you have picked the virus up.
Fallow time – This is the additional time that we allow between each patient to make sure that our treatment room is as clean as it can be. Surfaces and any reusable equipment are fully disinfected between patients. This is one of the main reasons why we are currently able to see less patients each day.
All in all then, we believe that our practice is as safe as it can possibly be and we encourage you to come along with confidence.
Keeping your teeth healthy during lockdown
Because many routine check up appointments have had to be delayed, this means that some of you will have longer gaps between visits to see us. This means, of course, that there is more opportunity for tooth decay and other dental issues to arise. The second lockdown may make this worse as we are at home more and may fall into a number of ‘traps’ that can lead to deteriorating oral health.
Please remember that it doesn’t matter if you leave the house or not, you still need to brush your teeth both morning and just before you go to bed at night. If we are not at work and are at home, we might be tempted to ‘take it easy’ a little too much and not bother to brush our teeth in the morning. This would be a big mistake and allow bacteria and acids to damage the tooth enamel, increasing the risk of decay.
Be careful also about what you eat during lockdown. Try to stick to healthy and tooth friendly meals rather than keeping the sweet jar or biscuit tin near you whilst you catch up on your favourite Netflix series. By all means allow yourself a treat or two; after all, we all deserve it, but do keep your consumption of sugary foods to a reasonable level.
Although some people might find lockdown relatively stress free and, for some, even relaxing, this is not true for a lot of people and stress may become a major issue. If this arises, you might be tempted to start smoking again or start to drink alcohol more heavily than usual. If you start to experience stress, try some relaxation exercises and get some fresh air. For more serious stress, consult your GP. Please do not start smoking again or drink excessively. Both of these habits are bad for your overall health and are key contributors to both gum disease and oral cancers.
With a forecast of vaccine availability in the not too distant future (fingers crossed!), let’s hope that we can return to some semblance of normality as soon as possible. This is unlikely to happen quickly though and it is likely to be a little time before patients will see the level of service that existed pre pandemic. Please be assured though that our team at Foxhall Dental Clinic will do all that we can to look after you and if you do need urgent treatment, please do call our Ipswich reception team on 01473 258396 and they will try to find you a prompt appointment.