While most dental offices may be closed at the present time, that does not mean that you should be neglecting your oral health! It is absolutely vital to ensure proper dental care at all times, but especially now. In the absence of dental hygienist appointments, it is critical to maintain a routine of day-to-day oral health maintenance to avoid experiencing a dental emergency during the quarantine. Not only is it important to care for your teeth and gums for aesthetic purposes, but this maintenance is also paramount to prevent plaque build-up, bleeding gums and cavities. As tempting as it may be to indulge in sweet snacks and skip the nightly teeth brushing session during the lockdown, your teeth will reap the consequences as a result.
Until COVID-19 is over and dental offices begin to open for business, it is critical to keep your teeth healthy and free of bacteria. With all of the additional time off work and staying safe at home, this is the perfect opportunity to take responsibility for your oral health in several ways. In this article, we will reflect on the top ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Drink Water Frequently
Drinking a lot of water is not only important for your teeth and gums, but for maintaining optimal health overall as well. Increasing your water consumption can balance out the pH in your mouth and effectively clear food debris and bacteria stuck between the teeth. This is an especially important habit to develop if you are one to snack throughout the day. Many people are finding themselves bored and more hungry while in quarantine and are enjoying a snack or two during the day or night. You should be rinsing with water after each snack you consume. When food or bacteria is allowed to spend a prolonged amount of time on the teeth and gums, the bacteria can corrode the tooth enamel and cause cavities and other dental problems to develop more rapidly.
Drinking a lot of water is not only important for your teeth and gums, but for maintaining optimal health overall as well. Increasing your water consumption can balance out the pH in your mouth and effectively clear food debris and bacteria stuck between the teeth. This is an especially important habit to develop if you are one to snack throughout the day. Many people are finding themselves bored and more hungry while in quarantine and are enjoying a snack or two during the day or night. You should be rinsing with water after each snack you consume. When food or bacteria is allowed to spend a prolonged amount of time on the teeth and gums, the bacteria can corrode the tooth enamel and cause cavities and other dental problems to develop more rapidly. Not only does water rid of bacteria and food debris in the mouth, but it can also strengthen your teeth. Water is naturally quite high in fluoride, which is effective in preventing tooth decay and keeping teeth durable and strong.
Never Skip The Oral Health Basics
Although many of us are off work and can enjoy the luxury of staying up late and sleeping in, this does not mean your dental health routine should change. It is imperative to continue a healthy schedule of brushing twice and flossing once each day. In addition to more free time, you have the opportunity to brush and floss more often. Do not be afraid to get in between those teeth to remove bacteria and food debris in between snacking or after lunch. The lockdown can actually help you refocus on your oral health care at home and form new, healthy habits. If you decide to floss or brush more than usual during this time, ensure you are doing so gently. You are cleaning your teeth and gums, not scrubbing them or removing harsh, stuck bacteria. If you experience bleeding, even from gently brushing or flossing, do not let this deter you from continuing that daily brush and floss! Bleeding can often be indicative of your teeth and gums needing you to brush more often and with better care.
Replace Your Toothbrush More Often
Your toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months or more frequently if the bristles become badly frayed. This is also the case for electric toothbrush heads. Not only can toothbrush bristles become frayed and scratch the tooth enamel and gums, but worn bristles can also be a hotbed for bacteria. You will be doing your oral health a favour by replacing the toothbrush more frequently. Some additional reasons to switch your toothbrush/electric toothbrush head include:
- After you have experienced a cold, COVID-19 symptoms or flu
- If you have had a throat infection or sore throat
- If you have experienced a mouth ulcer or sore
It is imperative to stay on top of not only your oral health but your overall health during this time as well. Replacing the toothbrush after you have experienced illness can prevent re-exposure to others or yourself in the home. Ensure you place your toothbrush in a dry, safe place away from any areas that are extremely moist or dirty, such as the toilet. Also, do not share your toothbrush under any circumstances during this time. Cross-contamination and spread of bacteria are even more dangerous and deadly during the pandemic and must be avoided.
Avoid Grinding and Clenching
One of the most important ways you can avoid damage to your teeth during this time is by avoiding grinding or clenching your teeth. Although it is common for some people to clench their teeth when experiencing stress, this habit can cause severe harm to the teeth and even lead to temporomandibular jaw joint (TMJ). If you find yourself clenching or grinding teeth more often than usual, make the conscious effort to stop it as soon as it starts. If you are prone to teeth grinding or clenching, contact your dentist to discuss whether a nightguard would be useful to protect your teeth during the lockdown. TMJ is a painful condition that affects one’s ability to comfortably chew, talk and even yawn. It is certainly an oral health condition you want to avoid, as it can cause severe damage to the teeth and jaw joints. When your bite is aligned properly, the jaw can operate smoothly and with ease to avoid clenching and grinding.
The wait is over for dental health care in Sarnia! Slipacoff Dental has resumed regular business hours with a few tweaks to ensure the health and safety of their patients. Whether you are in dire need of teeth cleaning, a whitening or more serious dental health treatments, Slipacoff Dental is ready and waiting for you to schedule that appointment for us to take special care of those teeth and gums.