Dental care is one of the challenges people have faced during the pandemic. Even though you had enough time at home to brush and care for your teeth, the pandemic affected some aspects such as dentists’ appointments. Before the pandemic, accessing affordable and same-day dentistry services from providers was easy, but dental health was mainly reduced to personal care.
Dental Care Tips During Pandemic
While staying at home, you must keep your teeth clean all the time. It could be challenging, especially when you’re not going to work or school.
Teeth can get dirty from food particles or get exposed to dirt and other particles, which can cause serious infections such as cavities, stains, or gingivitis. Here are some essential tips to help you care for your teeth during the pandemic:
1. Go For Dental Checkups
Most dental clinics were closed down during the pandemic, making it difficult for people to go on their regular dental checkups. However, with some restrictions being lifted, some dental clinics are opening up and scheduling appointments with clients.
So, you may call your family dentist or check online on sites like Familydentalhealth.com to see if it’s possible to get your teeth checked. If they’re open, they’ll fix a date when you can go for an appointment. If they’re not yet open, they can advise you on how to take care of your teeth as you wait for normalcy to return.
Dental checkups are essential in getting to know the status of your teeth and your gums. Also, many dental clinics will help clean your teeth thoroughly and suggest any medicine you may need if your teeth are infected. The ideal number of checkups in a year should be at least two.
2. Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Brushing goes without saying as it’s the most common advice people get about taking care of the teeth. Staying at home offers you ample time to brush your teeth twice or thrice a day that working couldn’t afford. When brushing your teeth, follow this guide to ensure you’re doing it correctly:
- Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush. Wet the toothbrush first before applying the toothpaste.
- Brush gently in a clockwise direction, starting with the upper molar before moving to the front teeth.
- Brush the inside of the teeth and on the top surfaces of your teeth.
- Brush the inner cheeks and the tongue. Do it gently to avoid bruising yourself as the wounds can cause infections.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with clean water and also clean your toothbrush thoroughly.
If you have young children at home, you should help them brush their teeth or guide them on how to do it. Not only does brushing your teeth help fight diseases, but it also keeps your mouth fresh so you’re comfortable talking to people.
3. Cut Down Sugary Food
Sugary food and snacks are sweet, and that goes without saying. This makes such snacks a favorite among many people, especially children. While it’s almost impossible to completely avoid cakes, biscuits, and other sugary food, you can cut back on the intake.
Such food will stick on your teeth and gums and increase the chances of getting cavities. If you eat any sugary food and snacks, always brush your teeth after or use mouthwash. The sugar shouldn’t stay in your mouth for long.
4. Maintain A Healthy Diet
The importance of a healthy diet in caring for your teeth can never be downplayed. Your teeth, just like any other body part, require the proper nutrients to grow and to fight any infections such as cavities and gingivitis.
Healthy food always has tolerable acids that won’t harm your teeth when eaten and contain essential minerals such as calcium, which helps form strong teeth. Also, natural or raw food helps your mouth generate much saliva, which can help you clean and remove food particles in the mouth and massage your gums.
Part of your diet should also include lots of water as this helps in hydration and balanced mouth culture. Water will also help rinse your mouth, ensuring no food particles are sticking between your teeth or in your gums.
5. Use Your Teeth Appropriately
Your teeth will always be strong if they’re healthy. This can make it tempting to use your teeth on things that’ll damage them and cause major problems in the long term such as using your teeth as a bottle opener.
Using your teeth for such activities can cause sore gums or break your teeth. Therefore, you need to use your teeth for what they’re meant for, which is chewing and biting. Using your teeth appropriately helps maintain your teeth in their natural state.
6. Control Mouthwash
Mouthwash is common among people who want to clean their teeth quickly without brushing and getting a fresh breath. It always works and makes you confident about your oral hygiene. However, you should control how much mouthwash you use as it may have side effects which may damage your teeth.
The chemicals in mouthwash can leave you with a dry mouth, which promotes gum infection and diseases. So, while it may work sometimes, you should reduce the frequency of using mouthwash and instead opt for other natural products like water.
7. Don’t Forget To Floss
Some people don’t have the time to brush their teeth, or some forget. In such instances, it’s vital that you still find a way to clean your teeth through flossing. Flossing reduces the food remains between the teeth and plaques in the gum, significantly reducing infections, odor, and cavities.
Flossing can be used as an alternative to brushing, especially on midday meals where you may not have the time and tools to brush your teeth. However, the most advisable way is to floss before brushing as it’ll help dislodge plaques in areas that the brush may not get to. This helps ensure thorough cleaning.
Here’s a guide on how to properly floss:
- Get about 18 inches of dental floss and wound most of it around your middle finger to get the right strength for flossing; leave about two inches only to be used for flossing.
- Place the floss between your teeth and move it up and down gently while pressing it against the surface of the teeth. This will help remove the plaque on the surface properly.
- Avoid flossing your gum because you may cut the gum since it’s delicate, which may open up a wound for infection. When you get close to the gum, form a C-shape with the floss and press against the base of the teeth. The floss will enter the space between the teeth and the gum to remove any plaque.
- When done with one tooth, break another piece of floss, move to the next tooth, and do this repeatedly for all the teeth.
- Properly dispose of the used floss away from children as it can be a course of dental infection.
- You can rinse your mouth after that or brush your teeth if you’re looking for a more thorough cleaning.
It’s important to know the right time to floss since it’ll play a significant role in your dental health, that’s why it’s recommended before brushing. While not most people floss regularly, you should make it a frequent practice for optimum oral health.
Dental Care With Braces
Regular caring for your teeth is simple to achieve and only requires proper discipline. However, if you have braces, it may be a bit more challenging because the braces offer another layer that may complicate how you practice oral hygiene.
Here are some great braces care routines that’ll keep your teeth healthy during this pandemic:
Brushing Your Teeth
Typically, the ideal number of times to brush your teeth is twice a day. However, if you have braces, it’s more demanding as you’ll have to brush your teeth after every meal. Braces will hold food particles, increasing plaques that cause odor and tooth decay.
Therefore, after every meal, you have to clean your teeth to prevent that from happening. Here are some steps to brush your teeth if you have braces:
- Brush using gentle strokes while concentrating on areas around the braces.
- Brush your gum at the area above the braces at a 45-degree angle to remove any food particles in the space between the gum and the teeth without damaging the braces.
- Rinse your mouth with lots of water after brushing to ensure nothing is trapped between the braces and the teeth.
The pandemic has been an advantage for people with braces as they don’t have to carry their toothbrushes to school or the workplace to maintain oral hygiene. Staying at home has helped them to take utmost care of their teeth. They can also easily monitor their mouth if there are any concerns.
Rinsing With Mouthwash After Brushing
Mouthwash plays a significant role if you have braces as it’ll clean all the food particles and plaques left after you’ve brushed your teeth. You should look for a fluoride mouthwash that won’t only clean your mouth but also protect your enamel against food acid that may cause cavities and tooth decay.
However, you can use mouthwash only once, preferably at night, to avoid cases of dry mouth that may lead to gum infections.
Flossing With Braces
Another way of caring for your teeth when having braces is through flossing. Yes, it’s much possible to floss when wearing braces, and it helps you maintain excellent oral hygiene. Read below the important steps of flossing with braces:
- Unlike people without braces, it’s recommended that you use a mirror so you don’t damage your braces.
- Start by flossing the space between your teeth and the main wire as these areas can hold food particles and cause plaques.
- Floss in an upside-down U-shaped on your top teeth and the standard U-shape on your bottom teeth.
- Floss gently and avoid popping it directly from your teeth as this will break the braces or dislodge the wire from its place.
- Unthread the floss gently from the wire and break another one to use on the next teeth.
If you have braces, ensure that you make it a routine to floss at least once daily to ensure your teeth are in perfect condition and you don’t risk any infections.
Other than the differences in the way you floss, mouthwash, or brush when you have braces, everything else remains the same. If you have braces, always ensure that you schedule an appointment with your dentists for a dental check-up once they open up.
Moreover, observing the proper diet and reducing sugary food should be maintained at all times because the effects may be more severe if you have braces than if you don’t. Also, make sure you hydrate all the time and only use your teeth for the proper purpose to avoid injury and infections. You should note that you need to be more careful with your teeth if you have braces as the braces offer more room for plaques and infections.
The COVID-19 pandemic might have caused several changes in the daily routine and how things are supposed to be done. But one thing that’ll never change and should be maintained is the importance of oral hygiene. Your teeth should be taken care of at all times, and these tips will help you.