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Nov 10, 2021

Dr. Heusner Shares How COVID Patients Can Lessen Transmission Risk

So when is the last time you visited the dentist? It’s something most people avoid, and recently were even more nervous about it due to COVID-19 fears. But as News Five’s Paul Lopez found out today, bad habits during the pandemic make it even more necessary to get those check-ups. And surprisingly, your dentist may have a solution for lessening the risk of COVID transmission if you have tested positive.  Paul spoke with Dr. Adrian Heusner of Heusner’s Professional Dentistry in Belize City today.


Paul Lopez, Reporting.

At the onset of the pandemic, people avoided going to the dentist.


Adrian Heusner

Adrian Heusner, Dentist

“Dentistry got it pretty hard for all my colleagues in Belize and across the world.”


Patients cancelled appointments for fear of contracting the virus.


Adrian Heusner

I recall when the former Prime Minister at that time announced the first case and phones started to ring, and we had mass cancelations. People were in a panic.”


But as the world learnt more about the virus, dentists also learnt and adapted.


Adrian Heusner

“We always have universal precautions when we practice, sterilization protocols, masks, goggles, sterilizing all our areas. But, when COVID came in, we had to then incorporate face shields and PPEs to keep ourselves safe. Because, people were afraid to come to the dental office.”


Soon enough people began returning to their dentist. But, after months of being away, oral diseases worsened. Dr. Heusner says people’s behaviors are changing in the pandemic.


Adrian Heusner

“We are seeing a little more decay because of the wait in time. People are not coming in every six months to do their regular check up. But, and interesting fact here, when COVID hit, kids were not going to school. So, kids were staying at home all day. So what happened when kids stay at home all day, they are eating more. They are eating more junks, sugars, juices, so yes we will probably see more decay. Also habits have changed, especially among teenagers, instead of going to bed nine, ten, going to bed at midnight, midnight snacking, all that. So all of that has changed the outlook of where we are.”


Practicing proper oral hygiene and going taking regular visits to your dentist can help to prevent these oral complications. And believe it or not, rinsing with hydrogen peroxide can also decrease the viral load in COVID-19-19 positive patient.


Adrian Heusner

“When our patients walk in here, we have every patient rinse with; we use a combination of hydrogen peroxide and chlorhexidine. Now this has been proven to reduce viral loads in patients, orally. And, I am not saying just to do it here. You can do it regular at home. You can rinse in the morning, you can rinse in the evening. Chlorhexidine, some pharmacies require prescriptions for it. Locally, I know Oden brand, you can get that locally. We bring in ours. But, it is very effective. The studies show that we can reduce viral loads, up to forty five minutes, about sixty, to seventy percent.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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