August 5, 2020
You know that brushing and flossing are important parts of any oral hygiene routine. What about using mouthwash? Do you remember to rinse your mouth in the morning and at night? This pivotal action is the last step to removing any bacteria or food particles brushing and flossing left behind. So, it makes sense that your dentist in North Sarasota is asking you to do this before your appointment, right? If you’re having a difficult time trying to determine why rinsing with mouthwash is now a necessary step before seeing your dentist, read on.
Mouthwash and COVID-19: What’s the Connection?
It’s safe to say that all dental professionals wish they could say that mouthwash kills COVID-19. Unfortunately, this is simply not true. While there is no evidence that oral rinses like Listerine or similar products kill this highly contagious virus, it is proven that it does eliminate 99.9% of germs and bacteria that cause bad breath, gingivitis, and plaque.
Why Rinse Before an Appointment?
COVID-19 has brought about many changes in dental offices across the country. From increased sanitation and wearing personal protective equipment to practicing social distancing and seeing fewer patients each day, the new guidelines are designed to better protect everyone. But why the need for patients to perform an oral rinse?
The reason is that many mouthwash products contain 20% alcohol. Effective when it comes to killing many of the germs and bacteria that lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis (bad breath), your dentist wants the number of bacteria in each patient’s mouth to be as minimal as possible.
When performing a general checkup and cleaning or performing an elective procedure, instruments and equipment are often used that produce aerosols. When these tiny particles splash or spray upward, they become airborne, and if they contain any harmful bacteria, this can be easily transmitted to another patient or staff member.
Yes, dental team members are now wearing appropriate PPE, but these potentially dangerous pathogens can land on surfaces or enter through any orifice (i.e. eyes, mouth, nose) if not properly protected.
By performing an antimicrobial rinse before settling down for your appointment, you eliminate a large number of bacteria in your mouth that could potentially pose a risk to others. Not only does this quick and easy step benefit your mouth, but it better protects those within the dental office as well.
Help your dentist in North Sarasota by doing your part to stay healthy and keep others safe. If you want to know more about what you can do while at home or in preparation for your visit, don’t hesitate to call and speak to a member of your dental team.
About the Author
Dr. Warren Hoffman is a dentist who attended dental school in Baltimore, Maryland, and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. He then went on to complete an externship during his senior year, providing dental services to stationed members of the United States Coast Guard in Honolulu, Hawaii. He and his team at Parkway Ridge Dental want you to remain healthy and safe during your appointment, which is why they are requesting that you perform an oral rinse beforehand. As one of the many dental safety protocols in North Sarasota being implemented, we invite you to contact us at (941) 358-8830 to find out what else we’re doing to keep you better protected.