Five Dental Care Practices to Achieve Healthy Teeth and Prevent COVID-19


The global pandemic has led many businesses to shut down, cutting out our access to basic services such as dental clinics. Without a doctor's guidance, a lot of people are falling into poor habits while in self-isolation. These include lack of exercise, poor hygiene, and increased carb intake.

Although a dental check-up is not on the list of your family's priorities, poor health practices can lead to serious complications, such as a painful toothache and other oral health problems. Maintaining good health during a pandemic means not only reducing the risk of acquiring the virus, but you should also take the right measures to maintain healthy teeth.

As dental clinics slowly resume their operations, chances are, you will encounter a few delays when requesting a dental check-up. So while waiting for that appointment, why not incorporate a few dental care practices into your routine?

Read below and discover the best dental care practices to safeguard you against COVID-19.

1. Brush the teeth properly.

While brushing is an obvious dental care practice, many people fail to do it correctly. Brushing three times a day is not enough. Before brushing your teeth, it is best to floss to breakout the plaque hiding between the teeth. If you have trouble flossing, use pre-made flossers. Brush afterward to remove the excess plaque.

The recommended length for brushing should take as long as two minutes. If you want to remove plaque and bacteria completely, using an electric toothbrush is better than manual brushing. If you don't have one, a soft-bristled brush will do. You should also make sure that you are using a fluoridated toothpaste. To avoid risks of infection, disinfect your toothbrush daily by letting it run under hot water for several minutes.

Those who have braces should pay extra attention to oral hygiene. If you are using gold retainer wires, use non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste. You should also refrain from chewing non-food items, such as nails, pencils, and pens.

2. Incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily routine.

Reducing sugar and carbohydrate intake can make a huge difference in your oral health. As much as possible, avoid cavity-causing foods, such as pasta, cereals, and other simple carbs. Foods like these can easily convert to sugar once it reaches your mouth. Instead, serve your family with fresh fruits and vegetables.

Drinking water also helps in maintaining healthy teeth. You can also try drinking water with fluoride for an extra application of fluoride for your teeth. At the same time, reduce sugar-containing beverages, like soda, sweetened coffee, and soft drink.

3. Use antibacterial mouthwash more often.

In a recent study by the Journal of Medical Virology, oral solutions such as mouthwash help reduce the risk of viral transmission, especially for those with coronavirus. If you are looking for existing products that can protect you against viruses, adding mouthwash to your dental care routine can go a long way.

The best time to do oral rinsing is right after brushing and flossing the teeth. Wait for a few minutes to allow the fluoride to settle in your teeth. The recommended measurement for a single oral rinse is between three to five teaspoons. While rinsing, gargle for about 30 seconds. Spit the mouthwash once you're done.

4. Chew xylitol gum or breath mints.

According to DentistryIQ, the leading source of dental information, dental professionals discovered that xylitol is an effective tool in preventing COVID-19. Our mouth is likely the biggest culprit of spreading COVID-19, as the virus often lands in our throat through breathing. Failure to kill that virus will cause further infection.

Dentists highly recommend using xylitol-containing gum several times a day to reduce the risk of viruses and infection. Chewing mints also help in neutralizing acid in our saliva. Not only does it make your mouth fresh, but it can also keep your teeth healthy. There are plenty of breath mints available in the market. The best ones are sugar-free mints that contain 100% xylitol.

5. Never wait for emergency treatment.

If there are cases when you feel unusual pain or sensitivity caused by a broken tooth, facial trauma, or other complicated dental issues, don't wait for emergency treatment. Request for an appointment with your dentist for immediate care. A minor dental issue can turn into a major one if left untreated.

These practices might not entirely cure your immediate dental concerns, but they are effective preventative measures to reduce potential dental problems during COVID-19 and maintain healthy teeth. So the next time you go to a dental clinic, you can flash them with that healthy smile! 

**Image source: Pexels.com

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