Welcome to the first West London Dental Centres newsletter. We hope you are well and we wish to take this opportunity to update you on what we have been doing here at the practice over the past few weeks whilst also giving you some tips on how to maintain your oral health.
As is the case for so many of you, this has been a challenging time for all of us here at Burlington Road. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, on March 23rd all dental practices were instructed to close their doors until further notice. Having been a mainstay of the Chiswick community since the mid 1950s, this was obviously very hard for us, however we do support the government’s decision and acknowledge the need for us all to play our part. At present we are still awaiting news from Public Health England and the Chief Dental Officer on when we will be allowed to open again, so please do regularly check our website for updates https://www.dentistw4.co.uk/
Whilst the change in routine has been challenging, it has also given us the opportunity to reflect on the service that we offer our patients. We are of course very proud of our high standards and are using this time effectively to ensure that new systems and processes are put in place such that a safe, high quality service will be maintained and any changes implemented in time for when we are able to reopen. Of course your continued feedback is essential, so if you have any suggestions, we would love to hear from you.
What to do if you have a dental problem?
We are offering a telephone triaging service, so please do call us if you have any concerns. We will offer advice, discuss pain management and where appropriate prescribe antibiotics which can be collected from a local pharmacy. However, if you have a dental emergency outside of our normal surgery hours, please call 111 for advice. If the emergency is serious enough to affect your wellbeing, for example uncontrollable bleeding or a large facial swelling, then you should go directly to your local A&E department.
Oral Health Tips
Melody, our lovely hygienist has come up with some top tips for how to maintain good oral health during this lockdown period:
“I think we can all agree that over the last few weeks we may have been snacking a little more than usual! Whilst my patients will know that I always place emphasis on tooth brushing twice daily, flossing or interdental cleaning at least once daily and not rinsing after brushing, something just as important that can be easy to neglect is our diet. Here are some dietary tips to help you look after your oral health during this period:”
- Drink at least 2 litres of water per day. This keeps you hydrated and helps your body and mind function well. It is also useful to keep the mouth lubricated and comfortable.
- Try and reduce snacking between meals or aim for sugar free snacks.
- Try and avoid carbonated (fizzy) drinks.
- Have your five a day! Fruit and vegetables bolster your immune system and help fight off disease.
- Try and reduce the amount of sugar hits per day. Try and limit them to meal times.
- Wait at least 1 hour after eating before brushing your teeth.
Please email Melody at the practice if you have any questions for her. She will be happy to respond!
What have we been doing?
Our dentists have to date collected, sorted and are redistributing almost 4 tonnes of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to hospitals, Urgent Care Hubs and 111 call centres all over London. This initiative was launched by our practice to support the wider COVID response by the NHS England London Area Team in collaboration with the LDC Confederation, of whom our dentist Mike Clarke is the Chair. A special thank you must go to our patient Hugh Walker of Eden Caterers who has very generously put his vans at our disposal, thereby allowing us to deliver essential PPE to those emergency centres urgently needing supplies without any transportation costs to the NHS. We are very proud that we have been able to undertake this important role, helping our colleagues on the front line whilst also carrying out our triaging responsibilities at the practice. Members of our team here have also volunteered to be redeployed elsewhere by the NHS and are on standby. The roles have included assisting directly on the front line such as the Nightingale hospital, local hospitals, and other important services such as the 111 service and pharmacy drug deliveries.
During the lockdown period we have also been busy attending some of the variety of dental webinars that have been made available. This has ensured that we have the most up-to date information about how the practice will deliver safe and high quality care again once the lockdown has ended, as well learning about new developments in our field. We are a very focused and close team, and so have had regular Zoom meetings to keep in touch- even enjoying the occasional (virtual) glass of wine together!