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Is it safe to go to the dentist? Here's what parents need to know

What Phase 1 and Phase 2 reopenings mean to you


It's a question on the minds of many parents: Is it OK to take my kid to the dentist?

After all, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children make a visit every six months. However, since Governor Andrew Cuomo put New York State on PAUSE eight weeks ago, there's a good chance that your child already missed a scheduled appointment or is about to miss a planned checkup.

All dental offices in New York State are currently closed except for emergency and urgent procedures, according to the New York State Dental Association. In other words, you cannot take your child to the dentist unless it's an emergency.

That means no checkups, no cleanings, no standard treatments for both pediatric and regular dentists. Going to the dentist is one of the things that families cannot do in New York City right now.

That might change in some regions of New York State as the Governor allows businesses to resume as a part of the state's staged reopening. Six regions in northern and central New York were approved for Phase 1. Dental offices are Phase 2 businesses

At this time, New York City doesn't meet the criteria for Phase 1, and will continue to be on PAUSE. Only after New York City is open for Phase I will the city be considered for Phase 2. Schools are a part of Phase 4, and might not reopen in the fall—click here for our most recent updates of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Another Phase 2 business? Hair salons. Until then, maybe you should take some professional advice on how to cut your child's hair at home.

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