Protecting Your Teeth in the Face of the COVID-19 Wave

Protecting Your Teeth in the Face of the COVID-19 Wave

Jul 01, 2020

While there may be confusion and chaos around the COVID-19 situation, your oral health still matters. Here is how you can keep it at its optimal.

Owing to the spread of the Coronavirus, it isn’t possible to visit your dentist for routine cleanings and examinations. Only patients with dental emergencies can do this. This is the reason you are advised to take great care of your teeth because if a problem develops, you may be forced to handle it on your own. So, how best do you protect your teeth during this pandemic?

Regular Brushing and Flossing

Dentists recommend brushing twice and flossing once each day. You may not be so keen about dental hygiene, but wait till you develop that painful cavity but can’t go to the dentist. Practicing good dental hygiene eliminates the risk of developing tooth decay.

A Canadian prosthodontist, Faraj Edher, DDS advises on switching to the electric toothbrush and brushing for about two minutes. This has proven to offer high oral hygiene levels, which is important, especially during times like these when you don’t get to see your hygienist or dentists for checkups and cleanings.

Using Mouthwash

Plaque buildup can lead to gingivitis, a condition characterized by inflamed gums. This can be countered by rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash that is non-alcohol-based two times a day. As an explanation to this, Mark Burhenne, DDS, and founder says that alcohol-based mouthwashes or kinds of toothpaste containing bactericidal components disrupt your oral microbiome.

At times like this, the safe thing to do is avoid any toothpaste or mouthwash that kills oral bacteria. Try hydroxyapatite toothpaste which, compared to fluoride, is less bactericidal but rebuilds your enamel as well.

Are you Eating Right?

Since almost everyone is at home and bored, excessive snacking may be a habit you have picked up to deal with all the boredom and stress. Dentists advise against this. Consuming starchy drinks or foods leads to the formation of acids in your mouth. The acid dissolves the surfaces of your teeth. The more you eat these foods, the more your teeth are coated in these acids, and the more they become softer and weaker.

Non-fiber carbohydrates are not any good. Since they act as straight sugar, they contribute to the buildup of plaque. If possible, you should consider a Paleo-type diet and avoid processed food for the good of your oral health.

Furthermore, stay away from hard foods as they are likely to damage fillings or crack your teeth. If possible, avoid popcorn, sticky candy, and peanut brittle.

We all know how drinking water helps solve almost everything. Well, it is good for your oral health too.

Excessive Drinking and Smoking is Harmful to your Health

Today’s Family Dentistry owner Jared Cox, DDS discourages adopting unhealthy practices for stress management. Overindulging in drinking and smoking harms your oral health. Smoking restrains blood flow to the gums, thus increasing the risk of developing gum infections. Did you know that excessive alcohol consumption dries out your cheek and gum cells?

You should avoid other unhealthy practices such as chewing on pen caps, fingernails, and ice.

Virtual Dentistry Tips for Dental Health

The COVID-19 wave has seen telehealth take over the dental industry. Teledentistry remotely reconnects dentists with their patients. These virtual encounters can take different forms; message exchange, email with attached photos, or video consults. Here are some tips that may be beneficial to dentists:

  • Ensure the images and videos you capture are of high-quality. This way, you can detect the presence of sinus tract, swelling, carious lesions, or broken cusps or lesions on the tongue or lip.
  • Use basic testing or self-assessment, coach your patients.
  • Discuss options and risks in advance and schedule a visit in the future when the time is right.
  • Offer home remedies or prescriptions.
  • Because patients with emergencies will visit, consider pre-screening through teledentistry (both the patient’s needs and general health status) before making any arrangements with them.
  • Just the way you would do during in-person visits, keep a log of teledental encounters. Also, take some notes on the patient’s progress.

To cut on protective equipment expenditure, you can only be allowed to the dentist if you require emergency services. These services include abscess, painful tooth cavities, broken teeth, among others.

Taking care of your oral health is more important than you may think. In addition to the measures mentioned above, you should ensure your toothbrush is clean, and so is your bathroom. If you have an emergency, feel free to visit ESP Dental. Our Phoenix Dental is committed to offering you the best dental care. We offer dental implant treatment, among other general and cosmetic dentistry services.