Coronavirus and your oral health3 April 2020
From reputable news sources to social media platforms like Facebook, coronavirus is definitely the most talked about topic of the moment. We’ve been told to implement social distancing to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow the spread of this virus because, at the moment, we do not have an antidote for it.
We’ve also been told to wash our hands well, and more often, not to touch our faces and to keep surfaces in our homes clean. However, is there anything else that we can do to prevent catching coronavirus?
Boost your oral health during the COVID-19 outbreak
The fact remains, coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a new virus that we don’t yet know enough about, so without any hard evidence, the best thing is to apply is common sense. Here at Crendon Dental Centre, we think practicing simple dental hygiene at home is just as important as washing your hands regularly and adopting social distancing.
As we know, cleanliness is paramount in preventing the spread of germs so let’s take a look at the things we can all do to boost our home care regime.
- Brush your teeth for two minutes, with a fluoride toothpaste, twice a day. Focus on each quarter of your mouth at a time and really make sure you clean all tooth surfaces.
- Clean between your teeth every day with interdental brushes or floss.
- Tongue cleaning – if you don’t have a tongue cleaner, you can use your toothbrush to gently clean your tongue by brushing from back to front. This will help to remove the bacteria that the tongue can harbour, leaving the whole mouth cleaner and healthier.
- Consider using a mouthwash during the day at a time when you are not brushing your teeth.
What you eat also matters, therefore resist turning to an unhealthy diet to manage the stress.
- Cut down on how much starchy and sugar-containing foods you have, as this leads to a build up of acid in your mouth, which dissolves tooth surfaces.
- Reduce the frequency of sugar consumption and try keeping it to mealtimes. This will reduce the time your teeth are under acid attack.
- Drinking lots of water is also important for your general and oral health.
- Sugar-free chewing gum can help produce saliva and neutralise the plaque acids in your mouth.
Keep your toothbrush clean
Coronavirus is mainly spread through water or mucus droplets usually from the nose and mouth. Therefore, rinsing a toothbrush under cold water is not enough to kill the virus.
- Use hot water and salt to sterilise the toothbrush. Soaking them in a mixture of mouthwash and 0.1% hydrogen peroxide for approximately five minutes also helps.
- Change your toothbrush regularly, at least every three months. If you have COVID-19 related symptoms, then it is advisable to replace your toothbrush after the first seven days.
- Never share your toothbrush with anybody else as this is one way that viruses and blood-borne diseases can be caught from other people. Keep toothbrushes in the household separate. We don’t know how long coronavirus can stay on surfaces for, so the best tactic is separation.
- Always keep your toothbrush covered and a safe distance away from the toilet. Research has shown that virus can be spread via faecal matter. Flushing the toilet generates an aerosol spray which can land on your toothbrush, so it’s best to also flush with the lid closed.
We hope this advice helps you to not only maintain excellent oral health until your next appointment, but to give it a real boost in the meantime. Stay safe, stay well, stay home and we’ll see you all again very soon!