We are in the middle of our second week of the COVID-19 isolation and most dental practices around the country are only open for emergency cases. It is now imperative to get into a healthy tooth care regiment as you probably won’t be able to see a dentist for some time. We talked to Dr. Ian Rodd, D.D.S. and he gave us some Do’s and Don’ts to help keep your smile healthy and white, while your dentist and his team are in isolation.
– Brush your teeth
Twice a day for a full two minutes each time. It seems simple enough but most people don’t meet the two minute requirement. You’ll also want to use a soft bristle brush. Anything harder can wear away enamel and damage your teeth and gums. Don’t forget to turn the water off while brushing!
Floss once a day. It’s easy and quick to do and will help clean your teeth more thoroughly than just brushing. Here is how to do it: How to Floss
– Scrape your tongue daily
This is a great way to get rid of unwanted bacteria as well as freshen your breath.
– Gargle after meals
Gargling with an over the counter mouthwash is the best, but most of us don’t carry around a bottle of Scope everywhere we go. Just a simple rinse with water is a good substitute if nothing else is available. When available add salt to lukewarm water to gargle as a disinfectant.
– Check your mouth and throat for any changes
Many features of your mouth that may appear unusual are natural parts of the oral cavity. However, inform your dentist of any NEW changes that appear like lumps, bumps, ulcers or if you have bleeding gums.
Most of the time, stress or changes in your environment lead to these issues and they are not of huge concern. But in some cases it can be an early warning of something more serious. A simple call to your dentist to describe what is going on can help ease your fears of anything more serious.
-Don’t brush too often and don’t use a hard bristle brush
Too much brushing with a hard brush can lead to irritated gums, followed by gum recession. It is also too much for the surface enamel that protects the teeth. Brushing too much with a hard brush or too hard with a soft brush can scrape away the surface of the tooth leading to a yellow smile and sensitive teeth. It is sufficient to brush twice a day for two minutes each time, using a soft bristled toothbrush.
– Don’t eat sugar in excess
Sugar promotes bacteria growth. So stay away from high sugar foods and beverages (e.g. candy, soda and fruit juices). If you are a candy lover, try to find some sugar free alternatives. Don’t forget to wash your mouth after eating sweets and if possible substitute sugary foods with more fresh fruits like apples or pears that help clean teeth as you chew.
We’d like to thank Dr. Rodd for his help! If you keep to these do’s and don’ts, your smile will remain bright and healthy until we come out of isolation (which we hope will be soon). And once this is all over visit your dentist, it will be time for a checkup!