Clean Practices Means Cleaner Mouths: Ways to Avoid Dirty Dentists Offices


POSTED: Monday, April 1, 2013 - 4:30pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 - 7:31am

The dentist office, in many cases, is not necessarily on the top of the list when it comes to a person's favorite place to visit.

"When people go to the dentist it's a scary thing. You’re putting your trust in another person so not only are people worried about pain they are worried about everything involved in the procedure," said Dentist Tara Rios.

But here in the Rio Grande Valley, continued education is what helps local dentists stay on top of not only procedures, but also ways to avoid spreading disease from equipment used by multiple patients.

While you may not be able to necessarily make the visit more enjoyable, you can find comfort in knowing offices do follow strict sanitary guidelines before even asking you to open wide. State guidelines make the field of dentistry here in Texas a highly regulated field requiring even assistants to be licensed and require that everyone receive infection control training once a year, among other things.

"What a patient should look for when they go to the dentist is they should to make sure it looks sanitary, they should also be looking to make sure the assistants are well trained and everyone is wearing gloves and masks and eye protection and these are some things a person can look for," said Dr. Rios.

She added if offices are using sanitary practices on even the small things, like masks and gloves, they're likely adhering to sterilization procedures as well, but when it doubt....

"You should feel comfortable and your dentist should want to show you as to how the sterilize their equipment and what they're doing to protect you when you sit in the chair," said Dr. Rios.

For more on dental health you can visit the American Dental Associations website at


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