How To Maintain Good Oral Health During The Coronavirus Pandemic
The first thing you notice when you meet someone is their smile and whether or not they have good dental health. If you don’t take care of your teeth, your dental health and smile may suffer. With the Coronavirus running it’s course throughout the United States, and many dentist offices closed, there are still some things you can do at home to make your smile better. These are simple things that you can add into your daily routine to keep those pearly whites strong and healthy while we navigate this pandemic. Keep reading to find out about our coronavirus oral health tips.
Understanding How Oral Health Impacts Your Overall Health
There is a strong correlation between poor oral health and the incidence of gum disease. In addition, some of the same bacteria that cause gum disease are related to heart disease. For this reason, proper dental care is critical in the prevention of other diseases throughout the body. Preventing other diseases throughout your body will also help your body allocate more resources to fighting off the coronavirus God forbid you contract it. As they say, the best offense is a good defense.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene at Home
The best way to practice good oral hygiene at home is by brushing the teeth. Proper brushing involves the use of a soft toothbrush and brushing as instructed by your dentist or dental hygienist. We recommend brushing at least twice a day, and especially after eating, to remove the food debris that causes the issues with our teeth. Our office also advises our patients to floss at least once a day, and flossing at night is especially beneficial. At night, the mouth tends to dry out and bacteria are therefore much more detrimental to the oral tissues, so flossing before bed is particularly important.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring compound in most water systems. In the mouth, fluoride replaces the calcium ions in the enamel, making the enamel more resistant to breakdown by the acids produced by bacteria and the simple sugars that we consume in our diets.
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Using Fluoridated Toothpaste
Teach Dental Group recommends that our patients use a regular toothpaste with fluoride. Many toothpastes contain additives that can be detrimental to oral health. A few brands of toothpaste cause tissue sloughing, in which the outer layer of the oral tissues sheds, creating a “cotton mouth” feeling. Sloughing also makes individuals more susceptible to certain diseases. A plain, fluoridated toothpaste, as recommended by the ADA, is ideal for cleansing the teeth without causing any harmful side effects.
Remembering to Floss
A toothbrush will clean only three surfaces of the teeth: the top or bottom edge, the front, and the back. The proximal surfaces (the side edges of the teeth) are unable to be fully accessed by even the most advanced toothbrushes, and they are thus susceptible to decay. Dental floss is capable of fitting between the teeth and cleaning out the food debris that has accumulated in these gaps, reducing the chance of developing gum disease.
Mouthwash is an important tool in fighting gum disease, but using alcohol-based mouthwashes too frequently can become problematic. Excessive intake of alcohol is one of the predisposing factors to oral cancer, so it is important to monitor your alcohol consumption and to use mouthwash only as directed. Our office recommends the use of alcohol-free mouthwash, which is just as effective in freshening the breath as brands that contain alcohol are.
Although our office is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are still able to see patients for emergency or urgent dental care needs. In the meantime, we hope these coronavirus oral health tips help you maintain proper oral health until we can see you at your next checkup. We hope you are all staying safe and look forward to seeing you at our office soon.
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