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INDIANAPOLIS — As the possibility of being mask free becomes closer to reality, tons of people are brimming with excitement about showing off their smiles. But first, they’re making a mad dash to the dentist.

Dentists across the country are finding their waiting rooms packed with those hoping to get some work done.

At Tillery Family Dental, dentists have been busier the last two months than ever before.

“Just clearing up some of that alignment, some of that cosmetic type of work and we’ve definitely seen an influx of that.  A lot of people missed those routine checkups those routine cleanings so now there is a little of that as well. A little bit of a back log of people who put routine checkups on the back burner,” Dr Anthony Kiesel said.

Kiesel adds that one of the most common inquiry he gets is about teeth whitening. However, because the pandemic kept so many people from visiting the dentist, in many cases there’s a lot of important work that needs to be done before any cosmetic issues can be addressed.

“You have to have a baseline of health, an absence of gum disease, an absence of decay. And so I would say if you’ve been away for a while, don’t expect to come in and just get whitening. The analogy we use is you’re not going to re-do the bathroom when the foundation of the house is crumbling. So, if you are coming in specifically for a whitening or a crown makeover, we’re always going to establish a foundation of health first,” Kiesel said.

Kiesel says in many cases the disruption of the “morning/ evening routine” for many people led to the disruption of their dental hygiene practices. He hopes as things get back to “normal,” regular visits to the dentist will resume and healthy dental hygiene practices will continue.

“Maybe at some point when the masks start phasing out those beautiful smiles will be out again,” he said.