Taking care of your oral health: your dentist is ready to see you

July 7, 2020 - Ottawa, ON: The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) advises that as further COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are being eased across the country, many dental offices are reopening, while others that have remained open for urgent and emergency care are expanding the range of oral health care services that they are able to provide.

"Oral health is part of your overall health and well-being, and it's important to stay on top of it," says Dr. Aaron Burry, CDA Associate Director of Professional Affairs. "To regain good oral health, individuals who were unable to have issues addressed or had treatments interrupted, should book an appointment with their dentist as soon as possible. Patients who missed periodic appointments should get back to seeing their dentists regularly."

Guidelines and protocols vary from province to province due to different circumstances across Canada. CDA recommends that people contact their dental office for more details on what to expect at an upcoming dental visit; available care options; and what to do before coming in for an appointment, or visit the websites of provincial dental associations.

Protecting the health of patients and dental staff is a top priority for Canadian dentists. Oral health care provision during the COVID-19 pandemic is based on enhanced guidelines of provincial health officers and provincial dental regulatory bodies. "Patients can rest assured that dentists are infection control experts, and dental offices strictly follow provincial guidelines and regulations that protect the health of patients and dental staff," adds Dr. Burry.

Members of the public are asked to please stay home if you have flu-like symptoms (fever, cough or difficulty breathing) or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. Patients who are sick and have an upcoming dental appointment, please call your dental office to report symptoms, reschedule or ask about available care options.

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the lives of many, and has likely interrupted individuals' good habits and daily routines, such as more frequent snacking, consuming more sugary foods and beverages, and not keeping up with regular brushing and flossing - all of which can have negative impacts on one's oral and overall health.

"Taking good care of your teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment - one that includes a good oral hygiene routine at home between regular dental visits," says Dr. James Armstrong, CDA President. "As dental offices welcome patients for their appointments, we want to remind the public of the importance of keeping their smiles healthy by following five steps to good oral health."

  • Visit your dentist regularly;
  • Eat a well-balanced diet;
  • Check your mouth regularly for signs of gum disease and oral cancer;
  • Limit alcohol, and avoid smoking, smokeless tobacco and vaping; and
  • Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day.

Individuals who do not have a dental home can visit CDA's website for more information and tips on How to Find a Dentist.

About the Canadian Dental Association
The Canadian Dental Association is the national voice for dentistry dedicated to the promotion of optimal oral health, an essential component of general health, and to the advancement and leadership of a unified profession. CDA is a federation of Canada's provincial and territorial dental associations, representing over 21,000 practising dentists from coast to coast to coast.

Media Contact:
Zelda Burt
Manager, Communications
Canadian Dental Association

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