During the COVID-19 pandemic, dental offices have closed for routine care and are only seeing emergency patients. This has been done on the recommendations of the Centers For Disease Control to minimize exposure to the virus (for both patients and dental staff) and “flatten the curve.” However, if you’re a person who is diligent about seeing a dentist in Orange park every six months, you may be worried about missing checkups and cleanings and putting your oral health at risk. In this blog, you’ll get 6 easy tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy until you can get preventive care again. Learn more below!
1. Use Good Technique When You Brush Your Teeth
The way you brush your teeth makes a big difference in your overall effectiveness. To remove as much plaque, bacteria and food debris as possible, angle your bristles at 45-degrees towards the gumline and brush for at least 2 minutes with light, gentle pressure. Be sure to brush the front, back and chewing surfaces of all your teeth.
2. Keep Your Tongue Clean
Your tongue is covered in hundreds of tiny, hair-like papillae, so it’s easy for it to harbor bacteria that contribute to cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. With either a tongue scraper or your toothbrush, make sure to thoroughly clean it daily.
3. Find Ways To Make Flossing Easier
Oftentimes, flossing is the most difficult habit for people to be consistent with. Although it’s easy to give up entirely if you miss a day or two (especially when self-isolating at home), keep in mind that flossing just a few times a week will still have huge benefits. Also, if flossing at bedtime is difficult because you’re too tired, you can always try doing it after lunch or dinner instead.
4. Snack On Low or No-Sugar Foods
Every time you have a bite (or sip) of something sweet, acid is produced in your mouth that eats away at your enamel and leads to cavities. Instead of stocking the house with soda, juice, dried fruit, candy, or cookies, keep healthier options on hand such as:
- Hardboiled eggs
- Veggies with spinach dip or guacamole
- Low or no-sugar yogurt with cinnamon and fresh fruit (not dried)
5. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum is helpful for a couple of reasons. First, it can make it easier to resist snacking between meals. And since it stimulates salivary flow, it also washes away food debris and protects your enamel by neutralizing cavity-causing acids.
6. Use a Mouthwash That’s Formulated For Your Needs
Brushing and flossing are the foundation of your oral hygiene routine, but the right mouthwash can be a great addition because it gets into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. A fluoride mouthwash prevents cavities by hardening your enamel, while an antiseptic formula is great for gum health. There are also all-in-one options that address both issues.
Rest assured that family dentists will be reopening for routine and elective care as soon as it’s deemed safe. In the meantime, these 6 tips will keep your smile healthy and happy!
About the Author
Dr. Natasha Patel is a family dentist in Orange Park who always has her patients’ best interests at heart, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. She wants to help everyone make it through quarantine with good oral health and knows that good everyday habits are essential. If you want to know more about maintaining your oral health or have any other questions, she can be reached via her website.