Did Covid-19 really lead to DIY dentistry?

Did Covid-19 really lead to DIY dentistry?DIY dentistry was one of the most significant outcomes of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is according to a new study that looked into the impact of lockdown on the oral health of those in Teeside.

Carried out by Rachael England, a doctor of public health (DrPH), she analysed the effect of the first pandemic lockdown. Not only were people taking dentistry into their own hands, they also reported a decline in their oral health.

She said: ‘The Covid-19 lockdown had a serious negative impact on oral health. For many people, oral hygiene routine was interrupted. People were brushing and cleaning between their teeth less often.

‘Dental practices being closed for such a long period of time was unprecedented and sadly, people had to resort to do-it-yourself dentistry. Of the people who experienced dental pain, 9% reported this as severe pain.’

Negative impact

In addition, findings show that the oral hygiene of those under the age of 30 was the most affected. Less than 50% of respondents had visited a dental practice in the year leading up to the pandemic.

On top of this, 45% of participants felt the lockdown had a negative impact on their oral health.

The findings expose the realities of the oral health crisis at a local level, as well as the negative impact of lockdown.

Loss of trust

Rachael added: ‘People missed both routine and emergency oral healthcare.

‘This will create an increase in the levels of oral diseases among the community. Not being able to access care in an emergency could also contribute to a loss of trust in the profession as people felt unsupported.

‘As oral health and public health professionals we need to work with advocates and policymakers to urgently increase access to oral healthcare services for people in Teesside.’

Rachael aims to bring her research to next year’s European Association of Dental Public Health conference.

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