Several months ago, COVID-19 may have seemed like nothing more than a news item affecting a distant part of the world. Now, however, it has affected virtually every aspect of daily life — and dentistry is no exception. Many dental offices are only providing emergency and urgent treatment at this time. Routine and non-urgent procedures have been postponed. What, then, should you do if your dental treatment has been delayed? Follow the tips in this article on keeping up with dental hygiene through the quarantine. Your diligence will prevent new dental problems from developing and stop existing ones from rapidly worsening.
Brush Up on Your Brushing Technique
You are probably already in the excellent habit of brushing your teeth twice a day. Here are a few reminders on how to make sure that this part of your routine is as effective as possible:
- Do not forget to brush the backs of your teeth and the area along the gumline.
- Be gentle — overly enthusiastic brushing can wear away at your enamel and irritate your gums.
- Try to brush for a total of at least two minutes, spending about 30 seconds cleaning each quadrant of your mouth.
Floss Every Night
Sleeping with bacteria and food particles on your teeth gives such substances the opportunity to cause decay, so it is important to go to bed with a mouth that is as clean as possible. Flossing is vital because it removes debris from the tight spaces between your teeth that your toothbrush cannot reach. To ensure that your flossing is effective, you should:
- Start with a long string of floss, but hold just 1 – 2 inches taut between your fingers. Insert that small section of floss between your teeth, then keep rolling the floss to a clean section as you move around your mouth.
- Do not simply insert the floss between your teeth and quickly pull it out. Move it along the sides of both teeth that surround the space.
- Be gentle. You should never “snap” the floss between your teeth because doing so could harm your gums.
Use a Mouthwash
Using a mouthwash is an excellent way to clean out all the little nooks and crannies in your mouth. Simply swish for about 30 – 60 seconds before or after you brush your teeth. Try to choose a mouthwash that fits your unique needs. For example, fluoride-containing products are excellent for people who are concerned about cavities. Bacteria-fighting mouthwashes are a good choice if you are concerned about gum disease.
Schedule Your Next Dental Appointment ASAP
Your dentist’s office may be much busier than usual when it resumes normal operations. To make sure you secure an appointment slot that works with your schedule, try to book your next visit as soon as you can. If your dentist automatically reschedules your treatment, be quick to respond to any messages they send you about your next appointment so you can confirm your place or request a different time.
Are you keeping up with your dental hygiene through the quarantine? Your good habits can safeguard your smile through COVID-19 and well into the future.
About the Author
Dr. Ravi Doctor is a general and restorative dentist in Southlake, TX. He has more than 30 years of experience. He very much looks forward to seeing his patients when COVID-19 restrictions ease up. In the meantime, you are welcome to contact us at 817-328-2400 if you have concerns about your oral health. We are ready to help!