A Dentists’ Guide To Preventing COVID-19

oral hygiene and staying safe to prevent covid 19 coronavirus

Following the recent updates and our response to the COVID-19 developments here in Calgary, today’s blog post is aimed at helping our patients to stay informed and safe throughout the global battle to curb the spread of this new virus.

Staying informed and educated about the virus and how to prevent it is the key to combatting it’s spread, and as oral health professionals, we’re in a position in our communities to be able to help our patients to understand and adhere to oral hygiene best practices. We also follow all protocols set by the Canadian Dental Association.


How Is COVID-19 Coronavirus Spread?

Understanding how the virus is spread is the first step to preventing and defeating it.

Unlike bacteria, viruses need a host (our bodies) to live and survive in.

Virus particles can live on surfaces, but usually not for very long. Recent testing by scientists has found that the COVID-19 virus is a little bit more resilient than most viruses, in the sense that it could potentially live on surfaces for as long as a couple of days. In most cases though, that lifespan can be shorter.

Since the virus really needs a person, or “host”, to survive, basic oral hygiene can go a long way to helping prevent the spread of the infection between people.


What Can We Do To Reduce The Spread Of COVID-19?

As we mentioned above, following basic oral hygiene steps is the key to preventing the spread of the virus any further.

Even if you are not showing any symptoms, or you don’t think that tickle in your throat is anything to worry about, there could still be a chance that you’re infected with a mild case of the virus. We owe it to our communities to make sure we all follow the same basic precautions.


Step 1 – Cover Your Mouth and Nose

One of the distinctive features of COVID-19 is a dry cough.

Just because you have a dry cough and you are not coughing up a lot of phlegm doesn’t mean that you aren’t coughing up something. Every time you cough, sneeze, or even just breathe out, tiny particles of moisture exit your mouth or nose and spread into the air and the environment immediately around you.

If you are sick or infected with a case of COVID-19, those particles are what spread the virus to other people.

Covering your mouth and/or nose with a disposable tissue or the inside of your arm is a great way to reduce the number of particles you’re sending out into the world.


Step 2 – Wash and Sanitize Your Hands Properly

Wash your hands with a lathering soap thoroughly and/or sanitize them with a 70%+ alcohol-based sanitizer regularly in order to kill any germs that did manage to make their way there.

Washing your hands in hot water for at least 20 seconds is a great starting point. Make sure you clean underneath your fingernails, as that’s the most common place for germs to be missed.

Before you touch any food, drink, or surface that is likely to come into contact with your face (cups, cutlery, etc) make sure you apply hand sanitizer generously.


Step 3 – Try Not To Touch Your Face

You’ll be surprised how often you touch your face during the course of a normal day without even realizing it.

The thing to remember here is that having the virus on your hands or skin is not what’s going to make you sick. The virus making its way into your airways is what makes you sick.

Keep your hands away from your face and in particular your mouth, nose, and eyes, as these are the points where the virus can enter your body and set up home in your respiratory tract.

Following these three oral hygiene steps will help to reduce your chances of catching COVID-19.

We’re hoping to have our dental practice back open as normal just as soon as conditions allow, and it’s safe for our patients and staff to do so.

In the meantime, if you have any urgent dental needs or if you have any questions about rescheduling your upcoming appointment, please contact one of the Rocky Ridge Dental team today on 403-244-2273.


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