Should Pediatric Dentists Screen For Head Lice?

Screening for head lice on pediatric dental patients might sound far-fetched, but considering how many patients sit in waiting rooms and are seen in health care offices each day maybe it’s not a bad idea after all. Children are more likely to pass on head lice simply because of their daily environment.  With that said, there is no direct correlation between head lice cases and dentistry.  Having clean teeth and being cavity free has nothing to do with how many nits or lice are found on a child’s head.

Good Hygiene is a Sign of Good Health Habits 

Setting an excellent example of personal cleanliness is also an effective teaching method with children since they will watch and learn to perform these tasks as they see you do them. Just like you teach children to brush their teeth, you can encourage them to limit head to head contact and to dust off public seats before leaning against them. One can never be too aware when dealing with your child’s well-being and Lice Troopers is committed to creating lice free communities – one head at a time. Wherever heads are resting, there can be head lice, and so you should always take precaution in places where a high-volume of children or families might have a seat such as a movie theater, or even the doctors or dentists office. Although lice can only live for one day off the head, people frequent these locations throughout the day, and if a person were to sit in a concert seat, waiting room chair, or bus seat that was inhabited by a person with lice shortly before the second person sat there, a louse may be waiting on that seat. Being mindful to wipe it down before sitting down will knock the bug off the seat. It helps that most medical offices use non-woven fabric to cover their headrests. If you take a good look around your pediatrician or dentist office next time you visit, you’ll notice this is the case as it makes the furniture more manageable to clean in between patients.  So while pediatric dentists don’t need to screen for head lice in their patients, it is comforting to know that they take precautions to limit the spread of head lice should one of their patients infested.  And if you find someone in your family with lice, remember that there is a solution to remove head lice safely, and effectively.