GALVESTON COUNTY, Texas – Fresh breath, strong teeth and healthy gums are all vital when it comes to good oral
October marks National Dental Hygiene Month and is a chance to highlight important steps that could lead to improved
oral health. Coastal Health & Wellness (CHW) offers basic dental services for all ages from cleanings to tooth extractions
as well as affordable dentures, root canals and crowns.
Dental health care remains important during the COVID-19 pandemic and CHW is committed to keeping patients safe.
CHW follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
“You’re going to notice a lot of changes have been made related to COVID-19,” said Dr. Hanna Lindskog, CHW dental
director. “These are all in place to keep you safe, and comfortable, when visiting the dentist.”
Those changes include asking patients COVID-19 related screening questions prior to their visit and when they arrive.
Patients are asked to wear a face covering before they enter and while in the clinic, to maintain social distancing, to use
provided hand sanitizer and to not bring anyone with them unless it is necessary.
“Staff gets symptom and temperature checks twice a day. We’ve also enhanced our Personal Protective Equipment.
You’ll notice we’re wearing gowns and have face shields in addition to our face masks,” Lindskog said. “We may look a
little scarier than normal, but we’re still the same smiling face underneath it all.”
CHW has also added HEPA air filters in the dental clinic to help circulate and clean the air. If a patient or anyone in their
household has been sick in the last two weeks, they are asked to reschedule their appointment.
Healthy oral habits can prevent gum disease and tooth decay, which can both lead to pain and tooth loss. Follow these
healthy habits from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for good oral health.
Brush your teeth two times a day, for about two minutes each time, with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a mineral that
helps protect teeth from decay. Also, try to use a toothbrush with soft bristles.
“Don’t just brush back and forth horizontally on your teeth. Use short, back and forth strokes while brushing in circles.
Don’t forget to gently brush along the gum line,” Lindskog said. “Healthy gums are just as important as healthy teeth.”
Also, brush your tongue to remove bacteria. This will also help to keep breath fresh.
Floss between your teeth every day. Flossing removes plaque and any food between teeth that the toothbrush may
have missed. Plaque is a sticky substance that can form between your teeth. If it stays too long, it can lead to tooth
decay and gum disease. Rinse your mouth with water after flossing.
“You may not know how to floss. That’s OK,” Lindskog said. “Talk to your dentist about what to do and any tips they may
have if you’re nervous about starting. Flossing is incredibly important to oral health.”
The HHS suggests cutting down on sugary food and drinks and not smoking or chewing tobacco. Also, if you drink
alcohol, do so in moderation.
Taking care of your teeth is especially important if you have diabetes, cancer, are an older adult or pregnant.
CHW accepts Medicaid, Medicare and most major dental insurance plans and offers discounted health services for the
indigent, uninsured and underinsured who qualify. To be considered for the uninsured program, patients need to apply
for discounted services and be financially screened by patient services staff.
For more information on services, accepted insurance and the uninsured program, visit www.coastalhw.org.
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Public Health Services · Coastal Health & Wellness · Emergency Medical Services · Animal Resource Center
The Galveston County Health District (GCHD) is the local public health agency for Galveston County, Texas.
GCHD provides services and programs that protect the everyday health and well-being of Galveston County.
P.O. Box 939 La Marque, Texas 77568
• (409) 938-7221