With COVID-19 continuing to keep people at home, you may be wondering what to do with all the extra time. Embracing a new hobby, stepping outside into nature (while practicing social distancing of course), and reading a book might be a few things you are considering. But have you also thought about ways you can improve your oral hygiene routine? With dental offices closed throughout the country, you will not be able to get in for your regular dental cleaning during quarantine. So take some time to consider the following tips. After all, you may notice a significant improvement in your smile!
Start Brushing the Right Way
It is easy to just grab your toothbrush and mindlessly clean your teeth while playing on your phone or flipping through the channels, but do you know if you are doing an effective job? To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, you need to make sure you are:
- Brushing for two full minutes. If necessary, use a timer or stopwatch to keep track.
- Not brushing too hard. Gentle movement and pressure are all you need to effectively remove bacteria.
- Using fluoride toothpaste. It not only protects against tooth decay, but it also strengthens the enamel.
- Brushing all areas of your mouth, including the backs of your teeth and along the gum line.
Floss Before Going to Bed
Should you floss at least once a day? Yes. Is it okay to do it in the morning? Yes. Is it better to floss at night? Absolutely. Here is why:
This long piece of string you move back and forth between your teeth helps to remove plaque and food particles, prevent cavities and gum disease from developing. If allowed to remain on your teeth throughout the night, this gives bacteria more opportunity to attack and penetrate tooth enamel, leading to serious dental problems. By flossing immediately before bed, you reduce this risk.
Drink More Water
Water is one of the most beneficial beverages you can consume. Not only will it keep your body hydrated and flush out any harmful toxins, but it will encourage an increase in saliva production. This is important to ensure the food particles left behind when eating are washed out when you swallow, preventing them from sticking to the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
Water is also helpful in keeping your mouth moist so that you do not develop bad breath, which can eventually lead to gum disease and tooth decay because of an accumulation of bad bacteria on the tongue.
Call and Schedule Your Appointment Now
Once dental offices begin to reopen, you may discover it is difficult to get in as quickly as you would prefer. To prevent this from happening, go ahead and call your dentist’s office now and schedule an appointment. They will likely plan for a date further out since many do not know when it will be safe to open but by having your appointment already on the books, you will be in much better shape than others who will wait to call.
Your dentist is eager to see you, as is your dental team. The best thing you can do during this time is to work hard to maintain a healthy smile. This will make for an easier, more pleasant appointment when you do return for a dental checkup and cleaning.
About the Author
Dr. John Ludu is a dentist in North Phoenix who achieved his Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry before going on to earn his doctorate at the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. With more than two and a half decades of dentistry experience, he and the team at Devoted Family Dental are working hard to ensure you and your family receive the care you need, especially while at home in quarantine. Whether experiencing a dental emergency or needing answering about taking better care of your oral health, please contact us at (623) 444-6222. We are here to help!