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Dental Care and COVID-19: What You Should Know

Marcus Higgins, DMD, Linda White, DMD, and the whole team here at Higgins Dental in Jacksonville, Florida, are taking every precaution to keep you safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our team follows the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We aim to minimize the risk factors for you, our other patients, and staff to avoid spreading coronavirus.

COVID-19 information

The SARS-CoV-2 virus causes COVID-19. This novel respiratory illness is exceptionally contagious and primarily spread through droplets that move through the air. For example, when a person who has the virus talks, sneezes, or coughs, they spray droplets into the air surrounding them.

COVID-19 infected droplets can enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth when you're within six feet of an infected person. While it's less common, you can also contract the virus by touching a contaminated surface and then rubbing your eyes or face.

The COVID-19 virus causes a variety of symptoms and affects people in different ways. However, the primary issue is a respiratory illness that can range from mild to life-threatening. Some people have had the infection without any symptoms, but they can still spread it to others.

What you need to know

To do your part to protect yourself and minimize the spread of the virus, there are some things we want you to know before you schedule an appointment with our office.

Reschedule if you have symptoms

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, like a dry cough or shortness of breath, be sure to reschedule your dental visit here at Higgins Dental for another time.

Even if you don't have symptoms, you should also avoid in-office appointments if you know you may have been exposed to the virus at home, at work, or in your community.

It's OK to delay routine visits (for now)

If you or a member of your family is due for a routine cleaning or checkup, you can consider delaying your appointment. Staying away from public places helps minimize your risk of spreading COVID-19 or being exposed to the virus yourself.

That said, you should never delay treatment for a dental emergency. We prioritize dental emergencies, such as a tooth infection or broken teeth. Give us a call to discuss your needs and determine if an in-office visit is necessary.

Social distance

COVID-19 spreads through close contact, so it's critical to continue following the CDCs social distancing recommendations. This means staying six feet away from other people and wearing a mask in the office if you're able.

Deep cleaning our office 

While we have always been committed to the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene, we're even more vigilant now. Following each patient's appointment, our team thoroughly cleans and disinfects all surfaces in the treatment room. We also carefully clean and sterilize the dental instruments used during routine cleanings, checkups, and dental repairs.

The team also cleans our waiting area frequently to prevent the spread of the virus to staff and additional visitors.

Stay calm and patient

We get it. The new rules we have to follow to protect ourselves and our community are frustrating. Things take longer than expected, and this can lead to short tempers and frayed nerves. 

We appreciate your patience as we take steps to protect you and our team. For example, staggered appointment times and limiting the number of people in-office at the same time protects all of us.

When scheduling your appointment, make sure to allocate extra time to accommodate these new changes. It may take longer for our team to provide the highest quality dental care during these challenging times.

Don't ignore at-home oral hygiene

Delaying routine dental care makes your at-home oral hygiene more critical than ever. Bacteria and plaque build up over time. Brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day and flossing your teeth at least once can help keep your teeth in good shape until you can come into the office again. 

The future is still uncertain, and you might not be comfortable scheduling a dental cleaning yet. In the meantime, you need to do all you can at home to prevent cavities, infections, and gum disease.

If you have a dental emergency or need to see a member of our team for any reason, give us a call or schedule an appointment online.

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