The health and safety of everyone in your office is nothing to take lightly. But that goes for your team just as much as it goes for your patients! I can’t stress enough the importance of adhering to all CDC and government regulations that have been required for dental offices to remain open, but I also can’t stress enough the importance of making sure you and your coworkers are able to do your job safely.
Everyone should be ready and willing to switch out with one another during longer procedures so that anyone getting overheated can escape to a designated area for removing layers of hot masks and clothing to find some relief. Also be sure to turn down the temperature of the office and just remind patients to bring an extra sweater to their appointment. Encourage your team to look out for one another and make sure your team stays comfortable even with all the new requirements for your practice.
Never forget the importance of staying hydrated either! Take frequent water breaks, and always opt for water instead of soda or juice. Staying hydrated can help regulate your temperature and keep you on your feet longer. It also help prevent “Mask Mouth” – that funky smell from our own breath inside our masks. You may also be smelling it on your patients, coworkers, friends and family! The most obvious cause, once oral disease is ruled out, is mouth breathing.
Most of us are not breathing through our noses when our masks are on. In the office with a N95 mask, covered by a surgical mask, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE to breathe through our noses so we mouth breath! This causes a dry mouth where more bacteria can build up without the rinsing action of saliva. This causes an increase in caries risk, gingivitis and bad breath. So whether you are in the office or just out in the public, wearing a mask can cause dry mouth and all its associated issues. Keep water with you and frequently swish water around in your mouth as well as drinking a lot more water! Your own breath will benefit, your body will stay more comfortable, and you will remain healthy!
This practice pearl gives tips to help prevent “MASK MOUTH”!