A recent California Dental Association survey of practicing dentists in the state shows that 94% of surveyed dentists are vaccinated against COVID-19. The online survey conducted May 26-June 8 jointly by CDA and the California Department of Public Health indicates that confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines is much higher among practicing dentists in California than it is among adults nationwide.
Of the 700 dentists who participated in the survey, 92% said they “got the vaccine as soon as they were available.” Eighty-one percent said they plan to get the booster shot every time it is recommended.
Protecting one’s own health, the health of one’s family and friends and the health of patients were dentists’ top three motivating reasons for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
“As essential health care workers, dentists were among the first in California to be vaccinated against COVID-19, behind front-line workers,” said CDA President Judee Tippett-Whyte, DDS. “Dentists’ high vaccination rate ― 94% ― plus the stringent infection-control protocols that dental offices follow should give patients confidence that they can safely go to the dentist and resume their routine oral health care.”
Dental practices are safely providing oral health care to patients by following strict infection control guidelines and office protocols established by the Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Additionally, as trusted health professionals, dentists are positioned daily to discuss COVID-19 vaccination with their staff, patients and the public, instill confidence about the vaccines and ultimately influence their patients’ decision-making about getting vaccinated.
To keep teeth and gums healthy, CDA urges Californians to brush two minutes, twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss regularly, avoid sugary drinks and visit a dentist for regular checkups to diagnose dental problems early when they are easier to treat. To help keep children out of dental pain, parents should provide each family member with their own toothbrush, spoon, fork or cup; wipe infants’ gums twice a day with a washcloth; clean pacifiers and bottles with soap and water, not spit; put only water in a baby’s bottle at bedtime; and help children brush and floss until they have mastered the skill — usually around age 7.