During the coronavirus pandemic, many people have put their dental hygiene on a back burner. The self-quarantine has increasingly led people to spend more and more of their time online, either shopping, paying bills or entertaining themselves. Going outside of the house is a risk that not many are willing to take. This is why many people are avoiding their visits to the dentist unless it is a medical emergency. This means that you need to start taking care of your teeth at home and not let any problem escalate to the point of needing emergency dental care. With regular checkups at a halt, you can even try teeth whitening at home.
Many governments have ordered the dentist offices to be shut down, which makes it even more important for you to maintain good oral hygiene at home. People are feeling anxious about their dentures and fillings, etc. as no one knows how long this situation is going to last. You can try to contact your dentist or orthodontist to find out what services they’re offering at this time. Moreover, you can follow some tips outlined in this guide to take care of yourself.
Why Do Dentist Offices Have to be Shut down during the Times of Coronavirus?
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “dental facilities postpone elective procedures, surgeries, and non-urgent dental visits, and prioritise urgent and emergency visits and procedures now and for the coming several weeks.” Protective measures in the coronavirus pandemic have gained a huge significance. Carrying out procedures during this time is extremely risky for the dentists.
The coronavirus spread through respiratory droplets in the air. Even if surgical masks are worn by the dentists, the virus can enter the body through nasal cavities and eyes. Moreover, these masks are ineffective against airborne particles. When the dentists are drilling, scaling, or polishing the teeth, aerosol sprays released into the air can make the dental staff vulnerable to the coronavirus. Also, they easily come in contact with saliva and blood when performing any surgical procedure.
Shutting down of the dental clinics is also important for helping reduce the greater deficit in the supply of protective gear to the healthcare workers providing care for COVID-19 patients. Treatments, such as teeth whitening, routine checkups, sensitivity, scaling, cosmetic surgeries, X-rays, and fillings, among others, that do not require immediate care won’t be carried out. In contrast, problems that involve bleeding, swelling, infection, severe pain, or broken tooth are still being looked after in clinics.
Our current circumstances have made it quite difficult to carry out our day-to-day activities. This is why extra care is needed. Being stressed out can also cause mouth sores to develop, which is why being alarmed and fearful about the current pandemic will only make things worse. While we’re all in lockdown, there are few things that we can do to make our time more enjoyable and healthy. And although we’re not going out for socializing there’s no harm in doing some teeth whitening at home and making yourself look beautiful and fresh.
Tips You Should Follow For Perfect Teeth at Home
These are a few yet simple things that can be easily followed at home. So, let’s take a look at them.
Brush your Teeth Twice a Day
The importance of this action cannot be exaggerated. Through brushing your teeth, you are protecting yourself from gum diseases. Moreover, the dislodging of plaque prevents tooth decay. You must brush your teeth before the first meal of the day and after the last meal of the day. However, be careful about not brushing your teeth right after a meal. This is because most of the foods we consume are acidic. These can soften the enamel on your teeth. Brushing immediately afterwards can damage your enamel. This can cause tooth erosion.
Timing, while you’re brushing your teeth, is important. You should not do it for less than at least two minutes. Brushing with too much pressure can damage the gums and enamel, which is why you need to get a brush with soft bristles. Rather than speedily brushing your teeth, you should take the time out to get into all the areas of your mouth. That includes your tongue. That’s because your tongue contains a lot of bacteria which need to be taken care of.
Understandably, you want to make sure that your teeth remain clean and healthy. But be careful about overbrushing them. Some people, to avoid the visit to their dentist, especially these days, might take “extra care” of their teeth. This means brushing them after every meal. Do not do this. It can harm your gums and enamel. You can even develop cavities as a result.
Use a Fluoride Toothpaste for Brushing your Teeth
There are a lot of ways by which you can get fluoride in your body, such as food, water, mouthwash, and your toothpaste. Its presence helps increase the strength of the developing enamel and resists the acidic attack of bacteria in the mouth. It also helps in remineralisation of your teeth.
For the extra protection of your teeth, you should use toothpaste that is more effective in countering the harmful effects of oral bacteria. This is why you should use a fluoride toothpaste.
Remember to Floss Your Teeth
When you’re brushing your teeth, the bristles cannot take care of every nook and cranny. That is they can’t clean the area between your teeth properly. This is why you need to floss, at least once a day. Many people prefer to do it before bedtime, as it keeps their mouth clean while it’s dry and prone to attack by bacteria.
It is something that a lot of people avoid doing. Only brushing your teeth will do half of the work. To dislodge the plaque between your teeth, you need to floss. Otherwise, this can also cause gum diseases, cavities, or enamel erosion.
Do Not Consume Too Many Sugary Foods
It’s no surprise that too much sugar can damage your teeth or “rot them.” However, it does so by combining itself with salvia and bacteria present in the mouth. This inevitably leads to the formation of plaque, which releases acid on the teeth. This can dissolve the enamel and also become a cause for cavities. These days a lot of people are snacking on sugary foods. However, you should keep a check on their intake.
In their stead, you should consume greater quantities of vegetables and cut down on fizzy drinks as much as you can. Even the boxed fruit juices contain large amounts of sugar. There’s no harm in enjoying them occasionally.
Try to Quit Smoking
This is something that you should especially focus on these days. There are numerous harms associated with smoking, the worst of which is cancer. You’ll also risk discolouring your teeth or losing them, bad breath, inflammation of the gums, among many other problems. Stained teeth and bad breaths are a big concern and many look for ways to overcome these. Teeth whitening at home can be an activity that many smokers can try in their lockdowns. But it would be better to let go of this activity completely. If you’re looking to get dental implants, then quitting smoking would be the best thing to do as it can prolong the recovery period.
Reduce the Intake of Alcohol
Many bad oral hygiene issues develop because of excessive drinking. First and foremost is the staining of your teeth, which is why many are trying teeth whitening at home. Secondly, the sugar present in alcohol can cause cavities. Lastly, the flow of saliva is reduced because of increased alcohol consumption. This helps bacteria cling to your teeth and cause damage to them, along with your gums.
Make Oral Health a Part of Your Routine
Rather than thinking of taking care of your oral health as a chore, try to make it a part of your routine, like brushing. Along with doing that every day, try to floss, use fluoride in your toothpaste, and eat less sugar. After some time, you’ll subconsciously perform all these activities at ease.
There are other things that you should do to protect your teeth. Chewing on hard objects such as pens, pencils, even your nails can cause your teeth to chip. As some countries don’t consider the breaking of teeth a medical emergency, you should be careful.
Prepare Yourself an Emergency Kit at Home
There are many instances in which you might develop tooth pain. For this, you can buy some painkillers to keep at home in times of emergency where going to the dentist is not an option. Also, those who have fillings in their teeth can buy themselves filling dental kits to put it back in place, if it comes out.
Rinse your Teeth with Saltwater
Other than taking care of various toothaches and bacteria at infection sites, a saltwater solution can help protect your teeth by washing away the bacteria from gums. Early on, it was popularised that the presence of coronavirus in the throat can be combated with the simple saltwater rinse. This is most certainly not true. The coronavirus enters the body through respiratory droplets in the air from the coughing or sneezing of an infected person or by touching infected surfaces.
These days it is better if we try to take care of ourselves as much as we can. This way, we are helping the front-liners. Face-to-face consultation with your dentist is certainly impossible if the problem is grave. However, if the concerns are aesthetic, you can try teeth whitening at home.
At Longevita, we do offer cosmetic dental surgeries. Even though you cannot come to meet with us personally during the lockdown, you can have an online consultation. You can book one by clicking here. Once the pandemic is over, you can come for your treatment at our clinic.