At-Home Dental Care and Oral Health Tips During the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Crisis
Many of us across the United States are under shelter-in-place orders or are simply doing our part to follow social distancing guidelines by remaining at home as much as possible. In fact, to achieve maximum levels of risk-management during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, Smile for Life Dental has temporarily closed, with the exception of treatment availability for dental emergencies. Since routine and preventative dental care options are so limited for individuals across America during this extraordinarily challenging time, we thought we might take this opportunity to discuss some things you can do at home to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible until you have access to professional dental cleanings and other oral care treatments.
The online health information website Healthline recently provided a detailed guide for maintaining oral health during the pandemic. Here is a summary of those tips, which our dental team believes can be very helpful for both oral health and general health:
Brush Your Teeth Twice Each Day and Floss Once Each Day
The standard recommendation for oral healthcare is no less important now than it was before this crisis: please be sure to brush your teeth a minimum of twice each day and floss between the teeth at least once each day. This is crucial for limiting the potential effects of bacteria and plaque, which can create painful cavities and dramatically increase the possibility of gum disease.
Rinse with an Alcohol-Free Mouthwash Twice Daily
If you have alcohol-free mouthwash on hand, please rinse your mouth with it twice per day. Since certain anti-bacterial agents and alcohol may possibly have a negative effect on the body’s immune system, it’s recommended that toothpastes and mouthwashes without those ingredients be utilized during this time. In addition, rinsing 3-4 times daily with salt-water has been shown to be effective for keeping your mouth healthy!
Clean Your Toothbrush
Viruses can attach to the plastic, soft bristles, and other components of a toothbrush. Therefore, it’s best to clean toothbrushes on a regular basis. A good soak in mouthwash combined with a bit of hydrogen peroxide, followed by a thorough rinse under the faucet, can help maintain a clean toothbrush.
Maintain Hydration and a Healthy Diet
Good oral care habits should be complemented by good hydration and dietary habits. Please drink plenty of water throughout the day and try to minimize consumption of food items that contain high levels of starch and sugar. Also, be very careful with hard foods that can potentially chip or damage a tooth or dental restoration.
As we’ve always said here at Smile for Life Dental, we firmly believe in oral systemic health and the links between oral health and total wellness. Ultimately, good teeth and gum health can lessen the strain on the body’s immune system, allowing it to focus on other battles. During this challenging period of limited access to routine dental care, we urge you to take precautions with your oral health as much as your general health in order to stay in tip-top condition for as long as possible!
If you feel that you or a loved one is suffering from a dental concern that requires emergency care, please call our office at (847) 697-1111. If you have other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time. Also, we now offer Tele-Dentistry, which allows you to have a virtual consult with Dr. Lodding in the safety of your own home. Please call our office if you would like to set up a Virtual Consultation.