Coronavirus Oral Hygiene Tips
Oral hygiene is important, especially when you are unable to see your dentist. With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, most dentists are mandated by the Government to only see emergency patients at this time. Even if you’re not experiencing a dental emergency, you still want to stay on top of your oral health. If you’re wondering how you can best protect your teeth until you are able to schedule a regular check-up, keep reading for our coronavirus oral hygiene tips.
How does oral health relate to your overall health?
Studies have shown there is a strong correlation between poor oral health and the incidence of gum disease. In addition, some of the same bacteria that causes gum disease is found to be related to heart disease. For this reason, proper dental care is critical in the prevention of other diseases throughout the body.
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.
Understanding the benefits of fluoride
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. Fluoride is available in many toothpastes and we recommend patients use fluoridated toothpaste for comprehensive protection. We also provide fluoride treatments at our office for additional protection.
Choosing a 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.
Remember to floss daily
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.
Floss is the unsung hero of dental care. Flossing daily allows you to reach the crevices that toothbrushes often miss. When plaque builds up in these crevices, this is what leads to tooth decay and eventually cavities. With a regular flossing routine, you can avoid many potential oral health issues before they happen.
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.
If you have any questions about these coronavirus oral hygiene tips, please call our dedicated West Seneca dentists today to schedule a free consultation! We are proud to serve Buffalo and greater Western New York and would love the opportunity to put a smile on your face. Call today for a free consultation.
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