Life is all very different right now, however somethings remain constant, like the importance of oral health for you and your family. Maintaining your oral hygiene regime is more important than ever right now as it’s crucial to keep your immune system in peak condition during the pandemic.
There are several things you can do to keep your smile happy and healthy during self-isolation:
1. Brush Your Teeth Twice a Day (and Floss!)
While this may seem like obvious advice – many people are out of their regular routines right now and it can be easy to let bad habits sneak in and flossing and brushing decrease.
Cleaning your teeth regularly is the best way to avoid cavities and prevent gum disease. We recommend you brush your teeth when you wake up and before you go to bed. Why? While you’re sleeping the bacteria in your mouth has plenty of time to multiply (hello morning breath), and before bed to remove any bacteria and plaque accumulated during the day.
You should spend roughly two minutes to brush your teeth; and another minute to floss. That’s only six minutes in the day – quite manageable really. Plus preventative dental is much cheaper than reconstructive dental treatment in the long run!
So right now in isolation, how do we remember to brush our teeth? Set a reminder on your phone; leave a post it on your bathroom mirror; make a pact with your partner to remind each other (point out their morning breath :P); or encourage your children to keep up the habit with a tooth brushing chart.
2. Toothbrush Hygiene (Especially Important During a Pandemic)
It’s crucial to keep the household as clean and hygienic during self-isolation. We’re taking a lot of precautions right now to protect ourselves from germs – but have you remembered your toothbrush?
Toothbrushes go in your mouth (sorry being obvious again) so it’s important to look after them properly. Toothbrushes will accumulate bacteria and saliva, so after brushing thoroughly rinse them to remove any residue and shake to remove excess water.
We recommend storing it upright in a holder so it can dry out quickly (make sure it’s not touching other brushes). Don’t throw them in a draw between use with all your other bathroom products.
If you’ve been sick we recommend you replace your toothbrush immediately upon recovery as your brush may still carry the virus.
3. Hydrate (Like It’s Going Out of Fashion)
Drinking water after eating neutralises the acid in your mouth. The water rinses out the mouth and aids hydration which increases saliva. Saliva contains enzymes which aid the re-hardening of tooth surfaces to keep them healthy and strong.
In general it’s recommended an adult drink roughly two litres of water a day to avoid dehydration. If you’re unwell it’s even more important to hydrate as your body requires fluids when fighting off an infection. So make sure you drink your water!
4. Maintain Your (Healthy) Lifestyle During Isolation
You’re home all day – the fridge is always near. While it’s tempting, try to avoid eating constantly throughout the day. If you’re snacking continuously it means that the saliva doesn’t have enough time to properly neutralise the acid in the mouth and can result in damage to the tooth’s enamel. This goes for sugary or acidic drinks too.
And of course don’t smoke. It’s not great for your teeth in general, plus COVID-19 is particularly troublesome for people with respiratory troubles.
5. Visit Your Dentist (Hello!)
The Federal Government, in conjunction with advice from the Australian Dental Association have downgraded dental treatment restrictions to level 2. This means you can visit us again if you have any dental issues.
We have adopted every additional precaution advised for our industry, including screening questions prior to appointments and increased environmental cleaning throughout the whole practice.
Throughout this trying time you can rest assured that the safety of patients, staff and the wider community remains of upmost importance. We can and we look forward to seeing you when you’re next in the practice.