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3 Ways To Improve At Home Oral Hygiene During COVID-19

BY. DR ALBERT LAM


With all that is going on in the world, it’s more than understandable that scheduling your regular dental check up might not be on the top of your list of priorities right now. With most people staying at home and not going into the office and other indoor spaces many people are pushing out their routine dental cleanings and check-ups to a later date. If you do choose to delay your next dental cleaning and check up, here are 3 tips that you can do to improve your at home oral hygiene ritual until your next appointment.


1. Instead of only brushing 2x a day, brush after every meal. Since many people are now working from home and most restaurants are not open for inside dining, there’s a good chance that you’re having most of your meals at home. If that’s the case, we recommend that you brush and floss after every single meal.


2. Cut down on sugary food and drinks (juice and smoothies included). This will help improve your oral health, along with your overall health. Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth using sugar to produce acids that dissolve and damage teeth. The acidity of many of these drinks also weakens the enamel and makes them susceptible to decay and erosion. If you decide to have a sugary treat, make sure to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth afterwards. This can help reduce the acidity of your mouth and curb the acid-loving bacteria that cause cavities and tooth decay.


3. Chew sugar free gum instead of snacking. During a pandemic, many people find themselves in front of a screen much more than normal (doing work, watching television, playing video games etc.). Oftentimes, this is accompanied by snacking. Instead of having a snack, try chewing sugar free gum instead. Chewing gum stimulates salivary flow in your mouth, which helps push away residual food debris stuck between your teeth. The increased saliva also helps increase the calcium content in your mouth, which helps with maintaining strong, healthy teeth. However, if you have any jaw soreness, try not to chew gum excessively throughout the day.


With all that being said, If you have a recent history of cavities, periodontal disease, or any acute dental issues, it is advisable not to delay your dental appointment. To ensure you have a safe dental visit, we recommend calling your dentist ahead of time to know about any precautions you should take before your visit and if there are modified hours. Self-screen for any COVID-19 symptoms and cancel your appointment if you’re feeling unwell. If you feel good to go on your appointment day, make sure to wear a mask when you can to help stop the potential spread of COVID-19.


The uncertainty of COVID-19 can disrupt even the most stable rituals in our lives. If you are ever feeling confused, overwhelmed, or even hopeless, we want you to know that you are not alone in these feelings. Yet, we hope that through nurturing existing rituals and creating new ones, you are able to find some peace in the now, even if it is just for the first 20 and last 20 minutes of your day.