There are plenty of things we are all putting off or giving up during this difficult time. Taking your kids to check-ups at the doctor and the dentist is probably not one you should put off. I just took my two boys in for their regular dental check-up and I have some advice about taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus.
What are some good tips for taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus? Above all else, ask plenty of questions. When you make your appointment, ask for detailed procedures of how they are going to handle your kid’s appointment. This should be a complete breakdown of what will occur between the time you arrive until the time you leave.
Pay very special attention to the procedures that will be used by anybody that will be working on your child. Remember that it is impossible for your child to wear a mask when taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus so their safety during this time should be at the top of your mind.
I just moved my family from San Diego to Portland. Because of that, I was already on the lookout for a new pediatrician and a new dentist. I must admit that I’ve been putting off taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus because of fears of catching the virus.
It is an uneasy feeling to take to your kids somewhere where you know they will not be able to wear a mask. They will also be indoors, in a confined space, and in close proximity to others. This all seems to potentially be a coronavirus disaster.
So I began my research the same way I normally would when looking for something like this. I looked on Google, I looked on Yelp, and I tried to find someone that was close by simply for convenience’s sake.
When I found a dentist that I thought fit the bill, I called to make my appointment. Before we even started discussing dates and times, I started to ask questions about what taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus was going to entail.
I was somewhat relieved by the fact that they began to discuss that topic before even I could get started with all my questions.
How I handled taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus
I must admit that in the week before our scheduled appointment for taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus, the more I watched the news the more I wanted to cancel this appointment. You can convince yourself that it is a foregone conclusion you will fall prey to this pandemic.
What changed my mind is the fact that not going on appointments like this could potentially be just as damaging to my kids. Poor dental health can lead to a lifetime of problems for them. It can also lead to other medical problems developing related to poor dental hygiene.
I also took into account the fact that as parents we are going to have to make very difficult choices about sending kids to school. I rationalized that if I was going to accept the risk of potentially sending my kids to school in person, there was really no reason for not taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus so long as precautions are being taken by both me and the staff at the dentist office.
For now, this is the new normal. We have to find ways as parents to navigate this time as safely and rationally as possible.
What The Visit to The Dentist Was Like
The day before taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus I got a reminder call from the office. I took this opportunity to ask the same questions again.
The lady on the phone had clearly heard these questions many times. She assured me that all of the office staff would wear masks. Those working on my kids would wear:
- N95 Masks
- Surgical Masks over that
- Face Shields
In addition, we would wait in the car until our appointment time. We would then call the office to let them know we were there and then they would let us in.
When we arrived they told us to come right in. When we entered the waiting room we quickly realized there were no other patients at the office. The woman at the front desk was wearing a mask as were all the other staff no matter what they were doing at that moment.
One of the benefits of this crazy time is that when taking kids to the dentist during coronavirus, offices will probably not be busy. That meant they could focus all of their attention on my two boys.
Kids of all ages don’t like going to the dentist. It was very nice that we could get both of their appointments done at the same time rather than back to back.
Once their appointments started, the staff was true to their word. Double masks and face shields for everyone working on the kids. Each of the treatment rooms had an ultraviolet air filter running.
Now I am certainly no scientist of any kind, but all of this prevention made me feel reassured. They certainly seemed to be doing the most they could do to prevent any transmission of the virus.
What would have stopped you in your tracks?
They had told me upfront what to expect. If I would have seen that they were not following through on that in anyway, I would’ve stopped the appointment at that point. My kids are the most at risk in the situation. They are the only ones not wearing masks. That is why you should always feel as sure as you can that they are in a safe and healthy environment when visiting the dentist.