At the beginning of April, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 had infected more than 1 million people worldwide and been linked to just under 75,000 fatalities. In the United States, the infection had spread throughout the country, affecting more than 386,000 Americans and playing a role in more than 12,000 deaths. Every state had posted at least 200 cases, and many registered thousands. Most states had issued some sort of shelter-in-place orders, and Americans were staying home, hoarding toilet paper, and spending a lot of time eating chocolate and other sugary treats.
“Consumers are eager to grab the types of food that might make their social distancing even a little more tolerable,” said Nielson executive Laura McCullough.
New Barn Organics, an almond milk producer, reported there had been a near-run on its “creamy barista-style almond milk” while lower-calorie, less sugary versions were staying on the shelves. New Barn CEO Ted Robb observed, “People are not shifting into healthier food. They’re shifting into comfort food.”
Needless to say, this is a time you might really need to make or keep a dental appointment, but you also are probably pretty worried about going out into a public gathering place (the waiting room) and waiting for your appointment. Fortunately, dentistry is a practice that is already very focused on health and hygiene, so dental practices like Dr. Pat Crawford’s dental practice in Kenosha, Wisconsin, have been able to take specific, often simple steps to keep patients safe and also keep appointments.
If you are worried about your dentist’s ability to protect your health while still protecting those pearly whites, check out three easy things you should be able to spot at the office that will let you know your dentist and their staff are on top of this issue:
- The waiting room should be empty, literally.
Not only are most doctors working hard to keep patients either alone in examination rooms or socially distanced in the waiting rooms, they are removing toys, books, and games from the area as well. Fewer things to touch means fewer surfaces where the virus can live.
- You should have to answer specific questions about your health.
Practices that are still seeing patients are being very careful to screen everyone, including employees and staff, before letting them in the building. You will likely have to answer questions when making an appointment and the day of the appointment about whether or not you have any cold or flu symptoms and if you have had a fever before you can come to the office.
- You will smell the disinfectant.
At Dr. Crawford’s office, we are wiping down all surfaces with disinfectant multiple times per day in order to keep all surfaces clear of the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using disinfectants even on otherwise clean surfaces in order to kill germs that remain after basic cleaning. Of course, our office does both!
While it is certainly best to abide by your state’s stay-at-home orders, dentistry is considered an “essential service” by the state of Wisconsin. If you have any questions about how Dr. Crawford’s office is protecting your health and how you should protect yourself when visiting the dentist, contact us at PatCrawfordDDS.com.