The impact of COVID-19 has been felt by many around the world, but the most vulnerable community has been hit the hardest: our seniors.
Older adults, particularly those who live in long-term facilities, are at high risk of infection. In the last two years alone, the CDC estimates that almost 170,000 seniors were infected.
Since COVID-19 is a disease that spreads through respiratory droplets in the air or on objects (like saliva), the dental care of seniors in facilities is crucial to avoiding the spread of COVID-19.
Here are 4 effective changes Mobile Dental Express recommends in order to help limit infection rates among seniors during this holiday season.
Never touch anything that has to do with your family member’s or patient’s dental care before washing your hands. This includes:
Encourage your seniors to do the same if they’re able to, or at least have them use hand sanitizer of 60% alcohol or higher.
The possibility of cross-contamination during the holidays with shared toothpaste is huge; it’s always best to ensure that each person, particularly seniors, has their own to avoid one tube touching multiple brushes.
If you have a large amount of family visiting, make sure everyone brings their own toothpaste or provide some yourself to stay as safe as possible.
It may sound a bit outlandish to have different tubes of toothpaste for each person, but in reality, this one small change can be crucial to preventing seniors from becoming ill.
There is no better way to assure that everyone is sticking to cleanliness guidelines than making it as simple as possible.
Mobile Dental Xpress highly recommends to have sanitizing products, such as disinfecting wipes or sprays, handy for anyone to use. Be clear with your family about how important it is that they sanitize the area before and after they use it.
This step will help prevent viral contamination from infecting more than one person if anyone falls ill.
We practice social distancing, so why not dental distancing?
When having family visit, make sure everyone is aware of the importance distancing in shared dental care areas.
Have a designated area for each person to store their oral care items; even though you differentiate your toothbrushes, just storing them near each other is a huge hazard!
Make sure your seniors have all of their dental equipment is stored separately, and that any space they share when performing dental care is sanitized before the other uses it.
Our seniors deserve that we do more for them. Wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing… all wonderful ways to prevent infection, but it’s the bare minimum we can do to keep them happy and healthy.
During this holiday season, go that extra mile to make sure the seniors in your life avoid becoming sick.
These 4 tips are so important to remember, particularly if you’re a CA, Dental Hygienist, or Dentist. Making these quality-of-life changes in your patients’ lives could save them from illness or death.
We specialize in providing training and information, so contact us and let us help you help your patients and your staff.