Dealing with COVID-19 has been an unprecedented situation that has brought much stress and anxiety to families everywhere. With many aspects of our society being shut down during the pandemic, the impact on our communities can be even more detrimental.
Here at Advanced Dental Care of Anderson, we are passionate about helping to care for our patients and their families. Due to the pandemic, many people are unable to visit their dentist for routine cleaning and procedures, so we’ve compiled this guide to help you and your families maintain your dental health and hygiene!
Dental Health Routine
Despite the stress of the pandemic, it is important to keep up with a regular oral hygiene regimen. Sandra Schoenbach Weinstein, a New York Dentist, explained that even with dentists being closed, so long as you are regularly brushing and flossing, your teeth should be fine!
So, what does a healthy oral hygiene regimen look like? Dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, making sure to spend an equal amount of time brushing each quadrant of your mouth. Proper brushing technique also requires that you hold your brush at a 45-degree angle pointed towards your gums, making sure to brush all surfaces, including the sides. Daniel Rodda, a dentist from Arizona, explained to Healthline that the main objective of dental hygiene is to control plaque, which in turn prevents tooth decay. Proper brushing is fundamental to controlling plaque, so it’s important to follow these guidelines.
Your oral hygiene routine should also involve cleaning your tongue, as it can be a hotbed for bacteria. You can clean your tongue with a toothbrush, floss, or tongue scraper. When using a toothbrush, put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush and brush your tongue in circular motions, cleaning as much as possible without making yourself gag. When using floss, wrap the ends of a string around each finger and then scrape the floss across your tongue. Be sure to rinse your mouth after cleaning your tongue.
Dentists recommend that you floss your teeth once a day. Proper flossing involves following the curve of your teeth in order to avoid damaging your gums. It may be difficult, but don’t forget to floss the teeth in the back of your mouth as bacteria tends to bloom in those spots as well! After flossing, the last step is rinsing your mouth with mouthwash. For this step, sip a small amount of mouthwash and swish it around your mouth for at least thirty seconds. When you are finished, make sure to spit it all out and not swallow any!
Why Does This Matter?
It may feel silly to be paying so much attention to your teeth in the middle of a pandemic, but oral health can have an effect on your overall health. Practicing proper oral hygiene not only reduces dental diseases such as cavities and tooth decay but can make it easier to fight other health conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease.
There is evidence emerging that the health of your gums affects the health of your body’s immune response: “There is established scientific evidence that the immune response in your body is closely related to the health of your gums,” explained dentist Eugenia Roberts. This is especially important to remember during the COVID-19 pandemic. Roberts elaborated on oral health during a pandemic, explaining that, “During a pandemic, the goal is to optimize your immune system. A healthy mouth frees the body’s immune system to fight off other intruders.” Maintaining proper oral hygiene will not only benefit your teeth, but it may also help protect you from COVID-19.
If you want to go above and beyond in caring for your oral health, dentists across the nation are coming together to advise patients on additional steps they can take to keep their teeth healthy until dentist offices can reopen.
Faraj Edher, a prosthodontist in Vancouver, recommends making the switch to an electric toothbrush: “This has shown to offer the highest levels of oral hygiene, which is crucial at a time when you aren’t seeing your dentist or hygienist for cleanings and checkups.”
Mark Burhenne, founder of AsktheDentist.com, recommends using non-alcohol-based oral hygiene products because toothpastes and mouthwashes high in alcohol content can wreak havoc on your immune response: “During this time, it’s best not to use any mouthwash or toothpaste that is meant to kill oral bacteria,” Burhenne says. “Your best bet is to use a hydroxyapatite toothpaste, which is less bactericidal than fluoride but rebuilds tooth enamel equally as well.”
Mike Golpa, CEO of G4byGolpa dental implant centers, advises that during the pandemic, we should all be regularly disinfecting our toothbrushes: “Take good care of your toothbrush… It’s very sensitive for transmitting viruses.”
Advanced Dental Care of Anderson
Despite the stress and chaos of the pandemic, our staff at Advanced Dental Care of Anderson is proud to offer our patients and their families support during this difficult time. If you have any oral health concerns, visit our website today to learn how we can assist you.