The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way most dentists are conducting business. Instead of providing all services, they may only be offering care for emergency and urgent cases. While that is certainly a wise measure as far as slowing the spread of the pandemic is concerned, it might leave you wondering what you should do if your previously scheduled dental treatment has been delayed. In this post, we provide some useful tips on keeping up with your dental hygiene through the quarantine to help you prevent current dental problems from rapidly worsening and stop new ones from occurring.
Thoroughly brushing your teeth can rid your mouth of harmful bacteria that could worsen cavities or cause new decay. However, you need to keep a few points in mind when you are brushing in order to derive the greatest possible benefits:
- Do not forget to brush the side of your teeth that faces the inside of your mouth or the area along the gum line.
- Be gentle — applying too much pressure could harm your gums and irritate damaged teeth.
- Try to spend at least 30 seconds brushing each quadrant of your mouth every time you brush.
Floss Every Night
Your toothbrush cannot clean all the tight spaces between your teeth, which is one reason why flossing is so important. You should floss at least once a day, preferably before you go to bed. Night is the ideal time to floss because when you go to sleep, you will have less saliva in your mouth to rinse away food particles and bacteria. Your mouth should be as clean as possible when you go to sleep.
To make sure your flossing is as effective as possible, do not just place the floss between your teeth and pull it out. Instead, gently insert the floss and move it along the sides of both teeth that surround the space.
Use a Mouthwash
A mouthwash can help to clean all the little nooks and crannies in your mouth. Choose a mouthwash that addresses your unique needs. For example, if you have a pending gum disease treatment, a mouthwash that is geared toward gum health may be best. If you have a small cavity, a fluoride-containing product could help to fortify your weakened tooth and prevent the decay from worsening. Whichever type of mouthwash you choose, swish with it for about 30 – 60 seconds either before or after you brush.
Get in Touch with Your Dentist
When dental offices resume their normal operations, they will likely be much busier than usual. If your dentist calls you or emails to reschedule your appointment, be sure to respond quickly so you can secure a time slot that works for you. And if you have any serious concerns about your oral health, don’t hesitate to reach out to ask questions or request an emergency appointment. Your dentist is ready to help!
About the Author
Dr. Charles Parker has been practicing general dentistry in Marshall for nearly 40 years. He offers a broad range of services, including preventive care, restorative care, emergency services, and more. He is a member of the American Dental Association. To learn more about Dr. Parker and how our team is helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, contact us at 903-935-6351.