More than half of Floridians avoiding dentist appointments, per recent survey

Study shows Floridians delaying dental treatments

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. —

A recent survey finds that more than half of Floridians are delaying their dental care because of COVID-19, and most of them are women and families.

Dental offices were forced to limit their patients during the coronavirus shutdown. Only emergency procedures were allowed.

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When the governor lifted restrictions in May, many dental offices began welcoming in patients with COVID-19 safety measures in place.

Action News Jax first told you about a local dentistry and the safety measures they were taking for both staff members and patients (Florida: Dental offices open for all procedures, but new restrictions in place for patients)

“Just like any other businesses, we’re trying to minimize the transmission of COVID,” Dr. C.J. Henley said.

While things are slowly getting back to normal, some people just aren’t ready to get back in the dentist chair.

“Certainly we have patients who are ready to get back in the office, and we certainly have patients who are hesitant to do so,” Henley said.

The survey done by Liberty Dental Plan shows fewer people are making their dental appointments. The survey polled 1,000 in September. It found that 60% of women delayed their dental visits, and 61% of survey participants lived in northeast Florida. Health experts are concerned that this could lead to an increase in oral health problems.

“For those patients who are still concerned, specifically those patients that have conditions that are going to make them more susceptible to issues with COVID, then stay home,” Henley said. “But what you should do is really double down on your oral hygiene efforts and make sure that you’re brushing and flossing. One thing that I think it’s overlooked a lot is dietary habits.”

Henley said to talk with your doctor about your concerns and also avoid sugary drinks and food.