As we find ourselves navigating through this pandemic, it is difficult to know how to deal with previously normal circumstances, such as visiting the dentist. If I have a toothache or am in need of some form of emergency dentistry, what do I do? The answer: come see us at South Charlotte Dentistry—we’re still open! Our method of operating has had to change a little, but we are still seeing patients, which means there is NO reason for you to go to the ER for emergency dental procedures.
In the past two weeks, life has changed dramatically for everyone. We’ve gone from watching parts of the world shut down to seeing our very own little worlds close in around us. At this time, restaurants, bars, libraries, and more are shutting their doors and people are being encouraged to stay home in a mass effort to contain, and ultimately rid ourselves of this virus.
But in the midst of the sudden change, life must go on—at least as much as it possibly can. South Charlotte Dentistry is happy to announce we are staying open on a limited bases, as we continue to provide the best care for all of our patients.
How to Schedule an Appointment
Since we are open for appointments only, we have set up an easy process for scheduling a time to come in.
Simply call our office at 704-759-0908 and press option one. You will then be prompted to set up a day and time that works best for you to come in. It’s that easy. When you do come in, you can wait in your vehicle until the exact time of your appointment, in which case you will be the only patient in the office.
Here are the steps for setting up and completing your appointment:
1. Call for an appointment.
2. Show up at the scheduled time and wait in the parking lot.
3. Receive a call or text that we are ready for you to come in.
4. Walk into the office—where the door will be held open for you—and go through the lobby and directly into the dentist’s chair. (This is a lobby-free experience.)
5. The only contact is the gloved hands of the dentist with your teeth.
6. Once the appointment is over, you can check out virtually, as there is no need to make a stop at the front desk on your way out.
Is it Safe to Come in?
Yes, it is. Our team spends hours each day deep-cleaning every surface and every tool used. Gloves and facemasks are worn the entire time, making your experience hands-free.
These are strange days we are living in, but they won’t be here forever. We will beat this thing and normalcy will return to our lives. But until then, know that South Charlotte Dentistry is still here for you. The most important thing is to make sure you come to us for your dental needs instead of the emergency room. With people flooding hospitals and overwhelming staff and resources, we don’t want to add to the overflow.
Maintaining Your Oral Health
Though it may be inconvenient sitting at home trying to shelter in place, you could use this time to do a little spring-cleaning of the teeth and gums. Keeping a routine is important, if not only for our own sanity, for our health as well.
Here are some tips we, at South Charlotte Dentistry, live by:
It’s important to brush your teeth in the morning and at night with fluoride toothpaste. In the morning it’s a good idea to begin with mouth wash, which breaks down plaque and food particles. Then thoroughly floss between each tooth to get those spots your toothbrush won’t reach. When brushing, hold the toothbrush at an angle pointing the bristles towards the gums. Brush, using back-and-forth motions on both the inside and outside of the teeth, making sure not to scrub too vigorously. Brushing too hard can cause the gums to recede and expose sensitive areas of the teeth. It is strongly advised to use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Brush for two minutes a side and repeat the same process at night.
It may sound a little strange (what doesn’t these last few days?), but even during a pandemic you still need to go to the dentist every six months. Here are four reasons why:
- Removing Hardened Plaque. You know when you visit the dentist and he gets that sharp, silver hook tool and scrapes it against your teeth? Sometimes, he has to press extra hard and poke and prod. What he is doing is removing plaque from your teeth. Flossing and brushing twice a day can get most of it from your teeth, but little bits of plaque can remain and harden. In time that plaque will discolor and can cause damage to the teeth and gums if it’s not removed. Visiting us at least twice a year will keep this hardened substance from accumulating.
- Preventing Gum Disease. Bacteria in the mouth can cause gum disease, and most times it is not noticeable to the individual who has it until it’s festered. However, we can help prevent gum disease from ever occurring by professionally cleaning your teeth and gums. And if signs of gum disease show up, he can recommend the proper medication to help illuminate it.
- Preventing Cavities. Plaque and food particles can create cavities, which eat away at the teeth. And like gum disease, cavities can be difficult to notice right away. Unless you see us, that is. If they are found, cavities can be removed and the damaged tooth repaired, or, in extreme cases, the tooth will have to be pulled. Regardless, it is of the utmost importance that cavities are taken care of right away, as they can lead to more serious oral maladies.
- Preventing Oral Cancer. The thought of cancer can be scary, but it’s something that should not be ignored. Instead, it should be prevented. Seeing your dentist twice a year and having an oral exam can greatly help reduce your chances of contracting cancer of the mouth.
There are other reasons to keep your mouth clean. For instance, did you know cavities and gum disease, if left alone, could lead to serious medical problems such as heart disease? It’s true. Poor oral health can even affect other diseases, like diabetes, making them more difficult to control. This is why it’s so important to be sure you are caring for your teeth and gums correctly.
Stuck Indoors and Snacking
One of the toughest parts of being stuck at home is keeping from snacking. Whether out of boredom or the sweet or salty taste, it’s hard to stay away from them. But how do these sweets affect your teeth and gums? Well, too much of anything is bad for you, right? What happens when we eat a lot of sugary treats or even sip on too many cocktails, is the sugar combines with any plaque (hard or soft) in the mouth to create an acid. This acid then eats away at your teeth. And though this is a serious matter, as no one wants her teeth to be eaten away, it can be prevented.
If you are regularly and correctly caring for your teeth twice a day, there are ways to still enjoy sweet foods and fresh drinks without damaging your teeth. If you are eating something high in sugar, gargle with mouthwash or water after you are finished. This will not completely clean the teeth and gums, but it can clear away enough unwanted matter before your brush next. As for drinks, try and find or make ones with fruit as a substitute for sugar. And, as with sugary treats, it’s a good idea to gargle or have a glass of water after.
While taking this time to maintain that oral health, it might be tempting to brighten that smile a bit with teeth whitening. But with so many whitening products out there, how can you be sure to get the best brand? Moreover, how can you be sure not to purchase a whitening kit that will damage your teeth? Here are four recommendations to consider when looking to brighten that smile:
- Stay away from trays and gels. This whitening system has been around the longest. The process involves heating a tray, filling it with whitening gel, and inserting it to the mouth to form a bond. The problem with this method is that it can take weeks for results to show. And, most people who use the tray and gels report having teeth sensitivity afterward.
- Use caution with whitening strips. The famous whitening strips have been around for ten years or so and have had a lot of success. Results can show in about a week, and the process is easy: simply fold the strip over your top and bottom rows of teeth and keep in your mouth for a short period of time. It is important to be cautious, however, not to overlap the strips onto your gums. Over time, this can cause irritation. Also, if you use the strips too often, your teeth can become sensitive.
3. When you have the time to wait, use paint-ons. The paint-on method solves the problem of the whitening agent interacting with interior soft tissues, such as the gums and inner cheek. You simply brush the whitening gel on each tooth and let it sit for a short period of time. Easy enough, right? The only downside to this method is it can take months before results can be seen, and you have to be diligent in getting the gel on each tooth daily.
4. Whitening devices. Though they may be a little more expensive than the others, whitening devices work the best. The device uses high-intensity lights to break down hydrogen peroxides to create more whitening oxygens on the teeth. The best part of using this method is your teeth will be much whiter in a matter of two days.
No matter what, remember that the most important things are to stay safe and stay calm—and to keep your mouth clean! Take care, and set up your dental appointment with us today.