Chlorfexis to Keep us Clean!
There is always a silver lining to every dark cloud. The reaction to COVID-19 brought on many changes not only to daily life but also to the dental supply chain. What once was a routine weekly order for disinfectant turned into an impossible chase for precious supplies critical to running the office. We started exploring other effective disinfectants that can be safely used on all of the supplies and equipment in the office.
We discovered a disinfectant that has already been widely used in hospital and surgery clinics and has growing popularity in dental offices, too. Hypochlorous acid, or HOCl, has been well-studied and works well against many deadly pathogens that we have been concerned with for years. It is considered tuberculocidal, bactericidal, fungicidal, and virucidal (including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19). HOCl is derived from salt and water and in solution, it dissociates into H+ and OCl–, which is a key component of bleach.
We chose a brand called Chlorfexis. We are able to make the solution in the office, offering a convenient and readily available supply of disinfectant. After each patient visit, we thoroughly spray and mechanically wipe down the entire operatory with Chlorfexis, allowing sufficient time for the disinfectant to act. As usual, of course, we continue to use our sterilization procedures for all dental instruments.
You may notice at your most recent dental visit we asked you to swish with our lovely disinfecting mouth wash. We have also incorporated Chlorfexis (at a lower and safe-for-ingestion concentration) as a pre-procedural sanitizing rinse. So far it’s been well-received and just has a subtle “pool-water” taste to it.
In a time of a completely bonkers supply chain, we are so thankful to have found a reliable, effective, and available solution to help keep our patients and our team safe!
For our fellow science nerds out there, check out some of these articles below:
Hypochlorous Acid: A Review:
Chlorfexis Overview Sheet:
CDC Chemical Disinfection: