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Dentists will ponder new protocols once they reopen

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a complete hold on the entire population of the globe. For most of us, that means “sheltering in place” as mandated by our governor, Gretchen Whitmer.

As we navigate through these unchartered waters in modern history it is important to understand that businesses throughout our state are taking the spread very seriously. Currently, many businesses are closed and will remain closed until authorized to reopen. What changes will occur once the mandate is lifted will depend on the services the businesses are providing. 

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As dental professionals, we are required to follow universal precautions, outlined by the Centers for Disease Control, treating everyone the same to prevent disease transmission. This means that we have and will be able to treat all patients with confidence utilizing proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Keep in mind, before the pandemic we routinely treated patients with infectious disease by following proper protocol. 

I have been thinking about protocols that will keep my team and patients safe. This may include questions regarding travel, contact with previously infected people, and maybe body temperature acquisition before treatment is initiated. Currently, no one can argue that there is a certain degree of uncertainty surrounding the situation because there is no true endpoint to the pandemic. I think, once we reach a foreseeable endpoint, specific changes in the way we all do business will become much clearer. 

In the meantime, we must continue to pay attention to our health and those around us. This means follow the social distancing guidelines and hygiene practices as outlined by our federal and local governments. The shelter in place mandate has given us some extra time, so contemplate your health even as so much seems out of our control. I recommend focusing on things that you can control, such as diet and exercise. 

Diet has a tremendous effect on the body’s ability to combat disease not only physically but mentally. Focus on eating things that improve your immune system, and mental health. Utilize brisk walks to enjoy the spring changes which will ease your mind and improve pulmonary function. Spend some time reducing or eliminating added sugar in your diet. This will improve your health immediately and there is no better time to do that than now! 

Instead of watching Netflix with your family tonight, check out this page and let the journey begin thehealthy.com/nutrition/what-sugar-does-to-your-body. Stay safe and healthy and we will all win this battle together.

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Dr. Eric Eby is the owner of Eby Dental Care in Okemos. Reach him at 517.349.9860.

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