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News / September 3, 2020

IDA urge parents to book dental appointments for children following COVID-19 lockdown

by Gaby Bissett

The Irish Dental Association (IDA) is calling on parents to book dental appointments for their childrenThe Irish Dental Association (IDA) is calling on parents to book dental appointments for their children as schools return.

As schools start to reopen after six months, the association is urging parents to secure dental check-ups following weeks of changed routines.

Incoming president, Dr Anne O’Neill said: ‘COVID-19 has caused significant disruption this year, children have had months with altered schedules. We are concerned that many children may have missed out on essential check-ups since schools closed in March.

‘This time of year has always been associated with a dental check-up reminder and 2020 should be no different.’

Further obstacles

She emphasises that dental check-ups help to identify issues that may have developed since a child’s last appointment.

And with the imposition of lockdown in March, it is likely this could have been before the pandemic.

Additionally, she acknowledged that COVID-19 has brought in a number of further obstacles. But now, she says, is a ‘key’ time for the development of positive relationships between children, their teeth, oral health habits and their dentist.

Prioritised safety

It is also important to discuss and update toothbrushes and toothbrushing habits with children.

Dr O’Neill added: ‘Dentists have always prioritised the safety of patients, their staff and themselves. They understand the details of infection control like few other businesses.

‘They ensure that their practices are cleaned to the highest standard and they are following COVID-19 guidelines to mitigate any risk of infection.’

Author’s analysis

It’s arguably more important than ever for good oral hygiene advice to be discussed with parents and their children.

As the IDA point out, the last six months may have resulted in different eating and hygiene habits among households.

With this in mind, dental teams are well placed to talk to their patients about ways to keep their oral health up to scratch.