15 Apr 10 Ways To Keep Your Teeth Healthy During COVID-19
Given the current situation that many of us are finding ourselves in across the world, looking after your personal hygiene has never been more important. Being hygienic not only protects you, it also helps to protect those around you.
Most of us have become experts at regular hand washing, using hand gels as well as masks if we need to go out for essentials.
Although your dental hygiene is not the first thing on your mind during COVID-19, this could change very quickly if you develop a dental cavity or pain and can’t see your regular dentist.
Maintaining your regular dental appointment has always been important. However, your appointment with your hygienist has most likely been postponed, or even cancelled, for the foreseeable future as most dentists are closed for routine procedures.
Even though we can’t see you, here are some simple day to day habits that will help you to keep a healthy mouth during this time.
1. Don’t go to bed without brushing your teeth
Although it is always recommended to brush morning and night, make sure you don’t neglect the night time brushing in particular. This ensures that you have removed all the food debris and bacteria from the day, and helps to prevent cavities while you are sleeping
2. Brush your teeth properly
How you brush your teeth is just as important as how often you brush them. You may as well not brush at all if you don’t brush them properly. Take your time, get to all surfaces of your teeth (inside and out) and use gentle circular movements. This will help to prevent hardened plaque from forming, as well as potential gum disease like gingivitis
3. Use a good toothbrush
A manual toothbrush can do a good job if you use it correctly. This means small circles around the gum margins using a small and soft bristled brush. However, for younger people or those with arthritis, and electric toothbrushes do the job for you. Just hold it gently at a 45 degree angle to your gums to help reduce plaque and the chances of gum disease
4. Use a fluoridated toothpaste
There are so many brands and flavours to choose from in the supermarkets these days. They all do the same job – so long as they have fluoride in them! Be sure to read the label and always choose one with fluoride
Fluoride has been scientifically proven to not only fight the germs that can lead to decay, it can also prevent decay by providing a protective barrier for your teeth
5. Flossing is just as important as brushing
Don’t forget that there are 5 surfaces to every tooth – a toothbrush can only get to 3 of those surfaces. Flossing is the only way to reach the in between surface of each tooth, and also to remove any food which may be stuck in there. Flossing once a day should be enough to keep these areas clean
6. But I find it so hard to floss!
Don’t let the technical difficulties of flossing stop you from doing a good job. Whether you have arthritis or are young or just have trouble getting the action correct, there are plenty of ready-made flossers available at the chemist to make sure you can keep up good flossing habits
7. Use mouthwash if necessary
Although mouthwashes aren’t a necessity, they can help if you have slight inflammation or to get to hard to reach areas. They are particularly good if you are having trouble with brushing or flossing as an adjunct and to help remineralise your teeth
8. Drink more water
Water still remains the best drink for your body and your teeth. Tap water is ideal rather than bottled water as it contains fluoride for added protection – and it is better for the environment! Drink water between and after meals to help cleanse and remove any food debris that may be lingering.
9. Limit sugary and acidic food
It’s very easy to reach out for comfort food while you are sitting at home these days… but eating these foods regularly will keep your teeth under acid attack for longer periods. Bacteria convert sugar into acid in your mouth, which erodes your enamel and causes cavities. Although it is good to have fruit, coffee, tea in moderation, try to limit them between meals if possible
10. See your dentist and hygienist twice a year
Your oral health should be maintained regularly just like your physical health should. Even the most conscientious brushers and flossers need a professional clean twice per year. Not only will your teeth and mouth feel amazing afterwards, it can also help to spot potential problems or decay which can be reversed.
If you had an appointment with our hygienist during these COVID-19 months, we will be in touch to postpone your appointment. We will do our best to get all of our patients in as soon as we are able to perform routine dental procedures again. In the meantime, keep up the good work at home!
If you have been thinking about getting your oral hygiene back on track, please contact our rooms to make a tentative appointment so we can reserve you a time!
If you have any dental concerns of your own, book a one-on-one consultation with Dr Nidhi Berera today. While you’re there, remember to ask about the many payment options available, including HICAPS, Zip Pay, Total Life Credit, the list goes on.