Will Bedford Dentists Have To Close Again?

With new Covid restrictions coming into place, patients ask if further closures are likely

The Dental Centre BedfordAs many people have predicted, it appears that a 2nd wave of the Covid-19 virus is on its way or already here.

This has widely been thought likely to happen for some time and the government has acknowledged this with it’s latest set of restrictions to help contain the spread of the virus. Some scientists are arguing, however, that these are not significant enough, triggering the possibility of a further lockdown of some sort.

Understandably, some patients of The Dental Centre Bedford have expressed their concern that we may have to close our practice again. Whilst we can’t predict the future, we thought that we would use today’s blog to look at this possibility and what our patients can do to maintain a healthy mouth ‘just in case’.

Will our practice close again?

As we have said, we can’t 100% predict what might happen in the future but, at the moment, there appear to be no indications that this is part of the plan. The aim of the government seems to be to try to keep the economy going as much as possible. In addition to any direct financial implications from closing dental practices, it could also have a knock on effect on people’s health and morale, not something that any government would want at a time when we need to pull together.

Given the health and safety and cross infection controls that have been put into place or improved since the first lockdown, dental practices are actually safe environments and with this new additional protection, this lessens the likelihood that dentists would be a priority for closure. Indeed, as knowledge of the virus expands, it appears that it spreads most easily in poorly ventilated areas where a lot of people are present; for example, pubs. This is unlike the controlled environment of a dental clinic and as such, we believe that it is unlikely at this stage, that further closures will happen.

Precautionary action

Having said all of that, nobody knows exactly what will happen so it makes sense to take as many precautions as we can. As an unfortunate few will know, suffering from a painful tooth when dentists are closed is no fun at all.  Although problems such as a broken tooth can occur due to an accident, many problems can be avoided with the correct level of care.

The first thing that we would advise is that if you currently have a problem that you have been ignoring, perhaps because you don’t like going to the dentist, the time has come to stop ignoring it and have it checked out. Even the smallest niggling toothache should be examined, and where necessary, treated as soon as possible.

The same applies to any problems with your gums in that the longer you put off having professional intervention, the more likely it becomes that damage will be caused. Prompt treatment of any oral issue will hopefully result in relatively minor treatment. Leaving problems and hoping they will go away (which they won’t), is likely to mean more extensive treatment in the future.

If you have any issues with your teeth and gums, we advise you to contact us for an appointment as soon as possible.

Looking after your teeth and gums

It goes without saying that you can also help to protect your teeth and gums by taking good daily care of them. For all the sophisticated treatments that are now available, a diligent daily brushing and flossing routine is still one of the best things that you can do to help maintain a healthy mouth. Using a toothbrush no more than 3 months old, you should brush your teeth both morning and night, angling the bristles towards the gums so that they can reach beneath the gum line. Make sure too, to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride as this will help to strengthen the protective enamel layer of your teeth. The addition of flossing to your routine is also recommended.

With a little help….

Although many of our patients already do so, now is probably a good time to remind people of the benefits of seeing the hygienist on a regular basis. This is sometimes seen as a ‘nice extra’ when, in fact, it is very beneficial indeed.

Not only does seeing the hygienist provide an excellent opportunity to discuss your oral health in general and to ask questions about it, but the ‘scale and polish’ procedure also removes hardened bacteria and mineral deposits from the surface of your teeth and on the gum line. This material is stubborn to remove fully with home cleaning alone and provides a rough surface for both bacteria and staining products to cling on to.

To summarise, we see no reason to believe that another closure is likely in the foreseeable future. However, these are very unpredictable times and it pays to be prepared, in this case by making sure that we look after our oral health as well as we can.

If you do have a problem with your teeth or gums or would like to make an appointment to see the hygienist, please call The Dental Centre Bedford on 01234 819868.