Tooth decay is a major cause of pain, infection, and tooth loss in American kids, according to the CDC. In fact, up to about a third of kids have cavities in their adult teeth and as many as 52% have cavities in their baby teeth. Unfortunately, data also show many of those cavities go untreated, leading to some serious health, social, and developmental issues.
As a parent, you know that the best way to prevent tooth decay and other oral health problems is to make sure your child sees the dentist regularly. However, fears surrounding the current pandemic have caused many parents to put off pediatric dental care, increasing the risks of cavities, infections, and other health issues.
At Dental Kidz Club, your child’s health and safety are always our top priorities. To put your mind at ease, our team has compiled this quick overview of the extensive health and safety practices we’re using at our practices in Perris, Brea, Corona, Covina, Ontario, and Riverside, California, to keep your child safe and healthy during their next dental visit.
Patients and guardians
Our safety protocols are based on the most current and up-to-date guidelines and recommendations from the CDC and the American Dental Association (ADA). We also follow strict OSHA guidelines for keeping our offices clean and sanitized, and for the protective gear that our team wears throughout your child’s appointment.
Safety begins as soon as you arrive at our office, with a temperature check for every patient. Our team will also ask you about any symptoms you or your child may have experienced recently, like a cough or fever. If your child has any symptoms, we’ll need to reschedule your visit.
To maintain a safe social distance of at least six feet, we only allow a maximum of three patients in our waiting room at any time. Plus, only one parent or guardian is allowed to accompany the patient into our waiting room area. You can also choose to wait in your car, and our staff will text you or phone you when the dentist is ready to see your child.
We’ll have hand sanitizers located throughout our waiting room and treatment areas, as well, and all patients and guardians must wear a mask before entering the waiting room or any other area of our offices.
Treatment providers and office staff
Of course, our safety measures aren’t limited to our visitors. Each member of our staff — including office personnel and treatment providers — has a daily wellness check, too.
All staff members wear safety gear, with the type of gear depending on the role of the staff. For instance, treatment providers wear more protective gear than office staff, because they’ll be in direct contact with your child during the visit.
In fact, your child might be a bit intimidated by all the gear our treatment team wears, so it’s a good idea to remind your child that even though the shields, masks, gloves, and other gear may look a little unusual, we’re still smiling and friendly underneath it all!
Office and treatment areas
All areas of our office are sanitized throughout the day, and treatment areas are thoroughly sanitized between each patient. Acrylic barriers at our front desk provide an added layer of protection (in addition to the masks our staff wear) between you and our office team members. Plus, we:
- Use spray disinfectants on all shared surfaces
- Wipe down surfaces between patients
- Clean our floors multiple times a day
Our private treatment rooms are closed off by doors for extra protection and comfort for your child. Surfaces are wiped down between patients using a medical-grade disinfectant that’s designed for doctors’ offices and hospitals — stronger than the products used in homes.
Our efforts have gone beyond “hard surfaces,” too. We recently installed germ-killing UV lights in the HVAC systems at our offices in Covina, Ontario, and Riverside, which improve air quality and safety. And, we’ve installed a new water sanitation tool that’s 100 times more effective than bleach in killing viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Having regular dental checkups during childhood sets the stage for better health now and throughout your child’s entire adult life. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s dental visits during the pandemic, call our office and our team will be happy to help. And if your child is due for a checkup, we can schedule an office visit, too.