Your Dental Office News, August 14, 2021: Best Place to Work award, Keeping you safe, Back to school

We can’t believe that summer vacations are wrapping up and it’s almost time for our students to head back to school. The past few months have been a whirlwind of catching up on everything we missed out on last year. We hope that we’ll all do the very best we can in order to keep ourselves and others healthy, so that the pandemic can finally recede in our rearview mirrors.

In This Issue:

  • COVID-19 Vaccines: 7 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Know
  • Our revised COVID-19 Guidelines
  • Congratulations Dr. Eyoma!
  • It’s Official: We’re the Best Place to Work in Frederick County!
  • Honoring Our Team Members
  • Back to School Dental Visit
  • Days to Remember in August

COVID-19 Vaccines: 7 Things Your Dentist Wants You to Know 

What do flossing, fluoride and the COVID-19 vaccine have in common? Preventing disease.

Your dentist cares for your mouth because your oral health is essential to your overall health. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, your dentist has been working to put your health and safety first by taking extra steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the dental office.

Now, we have COVID-19 vaccines to add to the other tools we’ve all been using to fight the pandemic — like wearing masks, washing our hands and avoiding crowds. As vaccines become available to more people, you may have some questions about them. Here’s what the CDC (and your dentist!) want you to know about COVID-19 vaccines.

1. The Vaccines are Safe and Effective

As doctors of oral health, credible scientific information is important to us when recommending treatments for our patients. While these vaccines were developed in a shorter time frame than some other vaccines, it’s important to know that the science behind them was not rushed. These vaccines were tested by thousands of people to make sure they work and are safe for patients like you. The Food and Drug Administration reviewed the data from the tests and authorized them for emergency use after determining they are safe and effective for the public.

As an additional safety measure, the CDC has set up expanded safety monitoring systems like the V-Safe smartphone tool to monitor vaccinations in real time.

2. The Vaccine Won’t Make You Sick, But It Does Have Some Side Effects

There is no possible way COVID-19 vaccines can give you COVID-19. They might, however, come with some side effects that make you feel uncomfortable for a short time.

Because vaccines teach your body how to recognize and fight off a COVID-19 infection, you might feel some of the symptoms you’d get if your body were fighting off the real virus, such as a fever, according to the CDC. While unpleasant, this is actually a sign the vaccine is working in your body.

3. You Should Still Get the Vaccine Even If You’ve Had COVID-19

Those who have recovered from COVID-19 have some natural immunity that may protect them from getting sick again, but some people do get re-infected. It’s unclear how long natural immunity to COVID-19 lasts and it can vary from person to person. The CDC recommends that people who’ve had COVID-19 still get the vaccine.

4. Get All Recommended Doses

If you are receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you need two doses to get the same level of efficacy seen in the clinical trials. For the Pfizer vaccine, the second dose is recommended three weeks after the first. For the Moderna vaccine, the second dose is recommended four weeks after the first. And if you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you only need a single dose.

5. Vaccine Eligibility Expands to All Americans 12 and Older

Anyone 12 and older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Adolescents 12 – 17 are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine, and anyone 18 or older may receive any of the currently available vaccines.

The CDC created easy-to-use tools to help you find a vaccine nearby:

  • Visit to search by vaccine type and zip code.
  • Text GETVAX (438829) for English or VACUNA (822862) for Spanish to receive vaccine sites on your phone.
  • Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline at 1-800-232-0233.

6. Mask Guidance Is Changing (But Don’t Get Rid of Yours Yet)

Vaccines can help you resume the activities you enjoyed doing most before the pandemic. And once you’re fully vaccinated, you may be able to do them without a mask on.

In May 2021, the CDC said people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can stop wearing masks in most places. You will still need a mask in the following places:

  • Healthcare settings (like your dentist or doctor’s office, a hospital or a nursing home)
  • Using public transportation
  • Transportation centers (like airports or train stations)
  • Local businesses and workplaces that require masks
  • Additional places where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations

 7. You Can Get the Vaccine If You Are Planning to Get Pregnant

Whether you are planning to get pregnant soon or in the future, you should still get the vaccine when it is available to you. The CDC states there is no evidence that the antibodies created from COVID-19 vaccines will cause problems with a pregnancy. The CDC also says there is no evidence that fertility issues are a side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, or any other vaccine.

 Source: ADA (American Dental Association)

Our revised COVID-19 Guidelines

The delta variant of the virus responsible for COVID-19 is rearing its ugly head and changing the rules of the game:

  •  It is as contagious as chickenpox, and 50% more contagious than the first variant that spread in the US;
  • Vaccinated people can transmit the virus even if they don’t get sick or show any symptoms.

Thus, non-vaccinated people are more at risk than ever, including children, adolescents and young adults. Per the World Health Organization, these “Three C’s” describe settings where the COVID-19 virus spreads more easily:

  •  Crowded places;
  • Close-contact settings, especially where people have conversations very near each other;
  • Confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation.

 Thus, at Dr. Harvey Levy & Associates we continue to:

  • follow the CDC guidance mandating that EVERYONE wear a mask;
  • have all our clinicians wear full PPE including N-95 respirator masks, face shields, protective eyewear, and gowns;
  • fog our treatment rooms and hallways;
  • ask that you call or text us from your car upon arrival, and not go into our waiting room
  • have a one-way flow through the office to promote social distancing
  • use high volume evacuation suctions for aerosol generating procedures upon request
  • request your vaccination status and record COVID-19 pre-screening answers if you are not fully vaccinated
  • take your temperature upon arrival to the office
  • ask you to sanitize or wash your hands, and rinse your mouth with an antibacterial solution
  • encourage you to contact our front desk team if you are experiencing any flu like symptoms as your appointment date approaches

It’s Official: We’re the Best Place to Work in Frederick County!

On August 3 the Mayor of Frederick and four Frederick County dignitaries (standing at the back with Dr. Harvey Levy) paid a visit to our practice, where they honored our team members with the Frederick County Best Places to Work award for Small to Medium Employer category.

“The Frederick County Best Places to Work campaign recognizes the county’s most innovative, creative, and forward-thinking employers. Winners of this coveted title provide outstanding benefits, programs and perks for their employees.”

We had been honored in 2013, and to be honored again in 2021 for our innovation, creativity, and foresight means the world to us!

Honoring Our Teams Members

To learn more about our team members, visit Our Team page on our website. 

MVP – Emily

Every month we recognize a different team member who has gone above and beyond for our patients or other team members. In July we recognized Emily, who wears the dual hats of Front Desk Coordinator and Dental Assistant. Emily recently joined our team and has proven herself to be a quick learner and team player who is always willing to offer her help!

Service Recognition

We are proud of our outstanding team of professionals, many of whom have been with Harvey Levy & Associates for several years. In July, we recognized Donna, a dental hygienist who joined our team 16 years ago! Even behind her mask Donna always has a smile. Her upbeat personality and friendliness helps patients feel at ease in the dental chair.

5 Questions to Ask at Your Child’s Back-to-School Dental Visit

School will be back in session before you know it. Whether your child will be in the classroom or learning from home, a healthy smile is still a back-to-school essential.

Some schools require a back-to-school dental exam. Still, it’s always a good time of year to schedule one of your child’s regular visits. “We can help spot and take care of any issues so your child doesn’t have to miss class once school starts,” says ADA pediatric dentist Dr. Mary Hayes. “It’s also a great time to help get back on track if some of your child’s dental habits fell away during summer, when normal routines can go out the window and there are a lot more treats around.”

And just as this school year might be looking a bit different for your child, their back-to-school appointment will have some changes too. Read “COVID-19: What to Expect When Your Dentist’s Office Reopens” to learn more about the steps your child’s dentist is taking to keep them safe at their appointment.

Here are a few questions to ask at your child’s appointment: 

How Is My Child’s Overall Dental Health?

The dentist will be looking at the big picture of your child’s mouth, including teeth and gums. “We will check to make sure teeth are lining up correctly, your child’s bite is in good shape and to keep an eye out for any [orthodontic] issues that may show up later,” Dr. Hayes says. “We’re also making sure baby teeth are going to the Tooth Fairy like they should.”

Will My Child Get a Cleaning Today? 

This is a must, no matter how well your child brushes. “Even if your child—or you, for that matter—brushes twice a day, it’s not possible to get rid of all the bacteria that can lead to cavities,” Dr. Hayes says. “And on the other hand, you may have a child who goes off to camp and never opens their toothbrush.” 

That’s why a professional cleaning goes a long way. “It removes more of the cavity-causing bacteria and helps to keep gum tissue healthy,” she says. “It can also remove most or many stains from teeth.”

Does My Child Need an X-Ray? 

 X-rays help your dentist see how your child’s teeth are developing and make sure the tooth roots are healthy. They also are used to see if there is any tooth decay between your child’s teeth. “The decay process can move very, very fast, so the earlier we can catch it, the better,” Dr. Hayes says.

Your child won’t need an x-ray at every visit. “We do them only when necessary,” she says.

Can You Check My Child’s Mouthguard? 

If your child plays sports year-round, make sure you bring his or her mouthguard along so your dentist can check for wear, tear and fit. “If your child is having a growth spurt, losing teeth and getting new ones, the mouthguard might need to be redone,” she says.

What Are Sealants? 

 Sealants can be another way to keep your child from getting cavities, but they’re no substitute for brushing and flossing. A sealant is a thin, protective coating (made from plastic or other dental materials) that your dentist can place on the chewing surfaces of your child’s permanent back teeth (called molars). Once they’re on, sealants work to keep cavity-causing bacteria and bits of food from settling into the nooks and crannies your child’s toothbrush can’t reach. This helps keep cavities from forming and tiny existing spots of decay from getting worse.

In fact, having sealants on your permanent molars reduces the risk of cavities by 80%. It’s best to get sealants as soon as your child’s permanent molars come through their gums (usually at age 6, then again at age 12). “It doesn’t hurt to put on or apply a sealant,” Dr. Hayes says. “When permanent molars start coming in, parents should ask if sealants are recommended.” Most last for years, and your child’s dentist will make sure they’re holding strong at every regular visit.

 Source: ADA (American Dental Association) 


August 1 – Lammas Day or Loaf Mass Day marks the beginning of the wheat and corn harvest. This celebration derives from ancient pagan festivals where loaves of bread were baked from the first harvests and then consecrated. The word “lammas” comes from the Old English hlaf, “loaf,” and maesse, “mass” or “feast.”

August 9 – is the First of Muharram or the beginning of the Islamic New Year. Traditionally, it begins sundown after the first sighting of the lunar crescent after the new Moon.

August 11 marks the end of the “Dog Days of Summer” which begin on July 3rd. “Dog Days” refer to weather that is exceptionally hot and humid.

August 18 is the First Day of School for Frederick County Public Schools

August 19 is National Aviation Day. The date was chosen to celebrate the birthday of Orville Wright. The Wright Brothers are credited with inventing, building, and flying the world’s first successful airplane

August 21 is World Senior Citizens Day. The day is intended to increase awareness of the factors and issues that affect older adults, such as health deterioration and elder abuse. It is also a day to recognize and acknowledge the contributions of older people to society.

August 26 celebrates Women’s Equality Day marking the ratification of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. After ratification the League of Women Voters organization was founded. This organization provides impartial, in-depth information about candidates, platforms, and ballot issues.

August 30 is the First Day of School for Washington County Public Schools

For more fun facts and information about the Month of August, check out:

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