The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what “normal” means in many aspects of our lives, including routine dental appointments! Alongside many new infection control protocols, you’ll be asked to follow a few extra safety precautions when you visit your dentist in COVID-19. Before your treatment begins, your Medford dentist may ask you to rinse your mouth out with a special oral rinse. Read on to find out more about this new step in your routine dental appointments during the coronavirus pandemic.
What Is an Antimicrobial Mouthwash?
Before administering care, your dentist will ask you to use an antimicrobial mouthwash. This oral rinse may look very similar to an antiseptic mouthwash you can buy at your local grocery store, but it’s much more powerful. According to the American Dental Association, there are several key differences between the two:
- Antiseptic mouthwashes minimize the risk of infection by using alcohol, fluoride, and other antiseptic ingredients to clear away bacteria.
- Antimicrobial mouthwashes are designed to inactivate or kill dangerous fungi, bacteria, parasites, and viruses in the mouth with specialized components.
Does Antimicrobial Mouthwash Burn?
Many people shy away from using mouthwash because of the unpleasant burning sensation it can sometimes cause. This reaction is caused by the alcohol it contains. Thankfully, even though antimicrobial oral rinses are more powerful, they won’t cause more discomfort. Instead of alcohol, they use activated chlorine dioxide to eliminate microbes and clean your mouth comfortably. However, if you are still concerned, you can always speak to your dentist about it before your treatment.
Does Using Mouthwash Prevent Getting Sick From COVID-19?
Neither the Centers for Disease Control, the American Dental Association, nor any other health organization recommend using mouthwash to prevent COVID-19. Neither antiseptic nor antimicrobial oral rinses have been tested specifically against the coronavirus, and experts are unsure of its effects.
Nevertheless, antiseptic products have been shown to eliminate 99% of bacteria that cause plaque and gingivitis, and antimicrobial rinses are designed to combat dangerous bacterial infections like gum disease. Keeping your mouth clean and healthy promotes a strong immune system and boosts your natural ability to fight off viruses and infections. Using a specialized oral rinse to wash away dangerous particles in your mouth is a worthwhile extra layer of safety, especially before receiving dental care.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed what your routine dental visits look like, but it hasn’t changed your dentist’s commitment to your health. If you need to visit them for care, you can feel confident that they’re taking every precaution to protect you from the coronavirus.
About the Author
Dr. Anthony Giamberardino has been caring for the smiles of Medford, MA since 1993. To keep his patients, staff, and the entire community safe, he has been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and adjusting his infection control protocols accordingly. To add peace-of-mind to the excellent dentistry he’s always provided, he has added 16 additional dental safety precautions to his already ambitious levels of care. If you’d like to learn more about his Commitment to Safety, feel free to contact him via his website or at (781) 396-3800.