What Does My Smile Have Anything To Do With Covid-19?

August 28th, 2020

What Does My Smile Have Anything To Do With Covid-19?

Ongoing research demonstrates repeatedly the close connection between the health of the oral cavity and the development of certain diseases. For example, in recent years researchers believe that there is a strong correlation between inflammation in the mouth, as a response to bacterial plaque, that causes gum disease to type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Therefore, it’s not a leap to wonder in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, how does one’s oral health have an impact with this novel virus?

A recent study published in the British Dental Journal explored the link between oral health and COVID-19 infection, this study identified that known risks from oral bacterial overload, including heart disease and diabetes, are common complications that make COVID-19 illness more severe. They also pointed out the additional risks related to aspirating (inhaling) saliva with a high oral bacterial load for causing pneumonia and other respiratory difficulties. Finally, they examine the link between increased inflammation, a known problem from high oral bacterial load, and poor outcomes in COVID-19. They concluded that oral health should be maintained or improved to preserve overall health during the pandemic.

As always, we encourage you to stay healthy, mask up, wash your hands, brush twice a day and floss daily. For a check-up exam with Drs. Jessica Chen or Daniel Kwong at Duvall Family Dental, please call us at (425) 354-3628, or email at info@duvallfamilydental.com and know that we’ve taken increased precautions, more than required by health authorities, to keep you and our team safe during the pandemic.

Below is a list of the added protocols and precautions we’re taking moving forward, some of which we look to you for understanding and cooperation. We can’t do it without you!

  1. You will be contacted 48-72 hours prior to your appointment via phone, text or email and asked a set of health-related questions. It is required that we complete this questionnaire prior to your appointment. We will have to reschedule your appointment if we are unable to complete this step.
  2. Personalized arrival procedures to guide you from your car directly to treatment rooms to eliminate contacting surfaces. Check-in via the link in your text or by calling us at 425-354-3628.
  3. Payment arrangements will be made in advance to avoid delay and allow contactless exit from appointment.
  4. We ask drivers and parents to wait in the car as we limit the number of people in our building. Young children with appointments may be accompanied by one guardian. Please do not bring children to adult appointments.
  5. We require a mask or face covering of mouth and nose upon entering our office and leaving. Due to limited supply of PPEs, we are unable to provide masks to you.
  6. Hand sanitizers are available to use upon entering and more throughout the office.
  7. We have removed magazines, water, coffee, toys, and other items that can harbor or transfer germs which are difficult to clean and disinfect.
  8. We’re introducing an oral pre-rinse to all patients to reduce exposure to germs.
  9. Recording temperature of every patient upon entering the office.
  10. Recording temperature and lung efficiency of every team member on a daily basis, at the beginning and end of work period.
  11. Enhanced operatory disinfection procedures before and after all appointments with fogging devices to access hard to reach places.
  12. Ambient air management with medical grade ionizing HEPA air filtration in treatment rooms and common areas to remove germs from circulating air.
  13. Sneeze guards at reception area.
  14. We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
  15. Enhanced nightly disinfection procedures of equipment and office fixtures like computers, keyboards, telephones, tablets, chairs, doorknobs, and buttons that may be touched unconsciously.

Quite the list right? We thought so too. If we didn’t feel it is necessary to achieve our goal of safety while providing you excellent dental care during this COVOID-19 Pandemic, the protocol wouldn’t have made the cut.


The Cold and Flu Season and your Oral Health

January 30th, 2019


When you have a cold or the flu, taking care of your body is your top priority—and that includes your mouth.

Here are some simple ways to care for your dental health when you’re not feeling well:

Practice Good Hygiene

When you’re sick, you know to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Don’t forget to keep up your dental and toothbrush hygiene as well.

According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. Be sure not to share your toothbrush with anyone while you are sick to prevent the spread of the virus.

You also probably don’t need to replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. It’s not likely that you will reinfect yourself unless your immune system is severely compromised. It’s not a bad idea though to routinely replace your toothbrush with the new one we provide at your dental checkup and cleaning

Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops

Read the label before you pick up a bag at the drug store with an eye to avoid ingredients like fructose or corn syrup. Sugary cough drops will provide a food source for the bacteria that cause cavities. If you are sucking on them all day long for a cough, you will increase your risk for  tooth decay.

Swish and Spit After Vomiting

One unfortunate side effect of a stomach flu, among other illnesses, is vomiting. Avoid brushing immediately or within 30 minutes of vomiting. The acids in your mouth can contribute to erosion of your enamel if you brush too soon.

Instead, swish with water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of water and 1 tsp. baking soda to help wash the acid away. Spit, and brush about 30 minutes later.

Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Mouth

When you’re sick, you need plenty of fluids for many reasons. One is to prevent dry mouth. Not only is it uncomfortable—dry mouth can also put you at greater risk for cavities. The medications you might be taking for a cold or flu—such as antihistamines, decongestants or pain relievers—can also dry out your mouth, so drink plenty of water and suck on sugarless cough drops, throat lozenges or candies to keep that saliva flowing.

Choose the Right Fluids

When it comes to your mouth and your body, one beverage is always best. Water. Sports drinks , although good for your electrolyte balance and rehydration, can have a high sugar and acid concentration and can contribute to erosion and tooth decay risk.

You might also want something to warm you up. Tea with honey is very soothing for a sore throat or an upset tummy. Limit the sweetener in your tea to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

Dental Appointments

Dental visits for cleanings, fillings and crowns can be very challenging when you are congested and can’t breathe well through your nose. The same is true for an acute cough. Consider deferring your visit until you feel better.

Duvall Family Dental


Dr. Jessica H.Y. Chen

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