ORAL PRECAUTIONS DURING COVID 19

What is covid 19? Today everyone from small kid to elderly is very well known to corona virus. Coronaviruses are a huge family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cough and cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome(MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS). According to WHO, “COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. COVID-19 is now a pandemic affecting many countries globally”.

As covid 19 is now striking the higher rate in India. So we need to be careful at the major part from where it has been spreading with the probability of peak risk.

How it spreads?

Again According to WHO, “People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are expelled when a person with COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are relatively heavy, do not travel far and quickly sink to the ground. People can catch COVID-19 if they breathe in these droplets from a person infected with the virus.  This is why it is important to stay at least 1 meter) away from others.” 

However, spreading through our mouth is one of the major factors that can lead to spread of Corona virus. So there should be following precautions must be taken for oral and dental hygiene. If going for the dental treatment, following are the measures taken by the dentist as per the IDA guidelines:

·         COVID-19 virus can potentially survive in the environment for several hours/days. Premises and areas potentially contaminated with the virus to be cleaned before their re-use.

·         Cleaning Procedure (Detergent and freshly prepared 1% sodium hypochlorite with a contact time of 10 minutes. Mop the floor starting at the far corner of the room and work towards the door. Frequency: after any patient/ major splash or two hourly.

·         Train administrative personnel working in the reception of patients on hand hygiene, social distancing, use of facemask, for them and incoming patients

·         A bin with lid should be available where patients can discard used paper tissues.

·         Changing room to be available for staff and all workers to wear surgical top and pyjama and clinic shoes

·         Install glass or plastic barrier at the reception desk, preferably with a two-way speaker system.

·          Ensure availability of sufficient three-layer masks and sanitizers and paper tissue at the registration desk, as well as nearby hand hygiene stations. 

 

What can patients do before arrival at a dental clinic?

 

·         Minimise or eliminate wearing a wrist watch, hand and body jewellery and carrying of additional accessories bags etc.

·         Use their own wash rooms at home to avoid the need of using toilets at the dental facility.

·         Have a mouth wash rinse with 10 ml of the 0.5% solution of PVP-I solution (standard aqueous PVP-I antiseptic solution based mouthwash diluted 1:20 with water). Distribute throughout the oral cavity for 30 seconds and then gently gargle at the back of the throat for another 30 seconds before spitting out.

·         Wear a facemask during transport and before entering the premises.

·         Have the body temperature checked and use a sanitizer on the entrance.

·         Patients consent and declaration to be obtained in a physical print out or electronic system.

·         Maintain social distance. 

COMMON ORAL HYGIENE DURING COVID 19:



There truly are no exceptional safety measures during this time. It’s a matter of proceeding with what the dental expert group has suggested from the beginning. 

·        Brushing  twice a day is mandatory but since you will be eating in between meals so rinsing of mouth should be done with chlorhexidine as it provide the oral hygiene of 2 hours and extended  up to 4 hours also  (explained in journal of Korean medical science on 25th may 2020)

·         Massage gums after brushing with a clean finger for two minutes as this improves blood circulation.

·         Wear face mask or face shield to avoid any exposure to foreign particle.

·         Interdental cleaning or Flossing is really important. If people have trouble with string floss, those premade flossers work really well too. 

·        We also encourage people to drink more water.  If you don’t love your tap water, you can use filters and to help remove any bad odours without removing the fluoride. When you drink water with fluoride, it gets into our saliva, so it’s like an extra little bath of fluoride throughout the day.

Suitable security estimates will ensures both dental professionals and patients in transmitting this pandemic malady. Legitimate rules ought to be  followed while giving urgent dental care services to the patient who is affirmed with COVID 19.Judicious social separation and proper oral care is the way to battle COVID 19.


Research and Contributed by : Dr. Parul Gupta