SHE'S one of the stars of Real Housewives of Cheshire, and now dentist Dr Hanna Kinsella is sharing her top tips in lockdown.
She told The Sun it's "insane" that the Government didn't deem dental practitioners as essential workers – leaving lots of patients in agony, with nowhere to turn.
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The reality TV star, who runs her own dental practice in St Helens, Merseyside, said some patients had been forced to treat their dental problems from home.
Dr Hanna, who married her long term partner cosmetic doctor Martin Kinsella in a lavish ceremony in Liverpool last summer, has said her practice has been inundated with calls from patients who have problems, and many who want advice on how to treat their ailments from home.
She said many dentists have been forced to close, leaving patients across the UK in limbo.
“One of the things the government did was deem us non essential workers, which I think is just insane," she said.
“So many dentists have closed their doors and there is nowhere for people to go.
“I’m not surprised people have resorted to pulling their teeth out at all if they are in pain.
“There are centres where people can go for emergency care, we’ve had 90 calls to our 'on call' phone and people just don’t know where to go in some cases."
She added that despite the fact the government has tried to create urgent care centres, some patients just aren’t able to access them.
Dr Hanna’s practice is in St Helens and she said the nearest centre for her patients would be in Liverpool.
“I don’t know how long it can go on for," she told The Sun.
“I just feel so helpless, I don’t know how the government will tackle it."
Here Dr Hanna shares her top tips to keep your teeth healthy, and avoid the need for emergency dental work during lockdown…
1. Keep brushing
Dr Hanna said it’s important to remember the basics.
But, for those who have sensitive teeth, she said: “If your tooth is sensitive to hot and cold foods or drinks then antibiotics won't get rid of the problem, you need to keep the area as clean as possible by using a fluoride toothpaste."
2. Sugar free
Dr Hanna told The Sun: “While many of us are at home more often, we have been snacking a lot more.
“To reduce the risk of tooth decay or pain, you should reduce the amount of sugary food and drinks you consume throughout the day."
3. Ease the pain
Dr Hanna said it’s important to not let the pain get out of hand, and while you should attend surgery if you experience swelling
She said there are home remedies to keep it under control.
“Try and take normal painkillers, ibuprofen and paracetamol are good and if you have toothache use a hot compress," she advised.
"You can wrap a towel around a hot water bottle and use it on the affected area.
"You can also make your own salt mouthwash which acts as a natural antiseptic."
I feel so helpless, I just don't know how the government will tackle it
4. Go easy on the booze
We’ve all seen the social media posts about the copious amount of alcohol people are consuming during lockdown, but Dr Hanna says now is not the time to go overboard.
“We are all at home drinking a lot more, alcohol is acidic and it helps bacteria that causes decay thrive," she warned.
"More people are likely to develop decay.
"If you are drinking alcohol or sugary drinks then stick to having them at meal times rather than sipping them throughout the day.”
5. Use a water pick
Dr Hanna said that she has had a lot of calls to the practice from people who have braces who are concerned about their treatment plans.
She said at the moment it has only been six week so it won’t have a significant impact.
“If you have a fixed metal brace and a lot of people have been ringing with this question, with metal, nothing will happen," she said.
"Treatment time will be delayed – keep on top with cleaning, I recommend a water pic, this will keep braces and the metal clean."
Lack of PPE
Dr Hanna added that one of the main issues is a lack of PPE.
She said normally she would use standard gloves, masks and visors to protect herself when treating patients.
“But this virus is very small and a lot smaller than a bacteria, with normal PPE you can protect yourself but you need a vented mask, specific kit," she said.
“When we open and go back to work, the question will be what about our PPE? Will we be protected? In dentistry there is a lot of aerosol with the drills, and the chance of things spreading in is high.”
For now Dr Hanna said all she can do is deliver antibiotics to her patients who are having problems, but highlighted it was important for patients to seek help if they were in “raging pain” or if they experience swelling in the mouth.
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