Due to the stay-at-home safety precautions lots of dental offices are only seeing emergency patients right now, meaning you might be someone who had to reschedule your dental cleaning appointment. If that’s you keep reading to find out how to best care for ways to improve your oral health during quarantine until you can safely get back into the dental office.
We all know how important it is to receive routine professional cleanings, so until it is safe for you to resume your routine dental cleanings, you should start working extra hard at home, since we all have the extra time.
- The first thing to do is to start brushing after every meal: breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ve heard the rule to brush at least two times a day, so in addition to brushing in the morning and at night, adding the extra third brushing session after lunch is ideal.When we’re at work in the office brushing after a lunch is not always practical, but now that we’re at home, it works, so consider brushing after every meal. Speaking of brushing after every meal, lots of us have been snacking a little more than usual during quarantine, and we need to stop that. Snacking is the absolute worst for our teeth. It’s actually healthier for your teeth to eat all the snacks at once, so consider establishing a designated snack time instead of snacking throughout the day. You don’t want any sugar or carbs, but especially sugary carbs to be sitting on your teeth for a prolonged period of time. Limiting snacking throughout the day is much easier said than done, so if you need to snack try to do it all at once.
If you really feel like you need a snack all day, just make sure you’re drinking a lot of water. Not only does water help remove that debris from your teeth, but it also keeps your body overall healthy. Water is key to a healthy life. We all realize that water is good, but what lots of us don’t realize is that your oral health is directly related to your overall health. So water is good on so many levels, so just try to drink as much water as you can.
- If you’re not a flosser, which unfortunately most people are not, start flossing. Now’s the time to create a new routine. Everyone is saying that quarantine means new routine. Most of the people are talking about working out and exercising, but flossing keeps your gums healthy and firm, so it really is in your best interest to add flossing working out your gums on your daily tasks list for quarantine.If you truly can’t get it to flossing, consider trying interdental aids. Another option is to try adding a water flosser. You might as well amp up your game, since water flossers are super good at keeping your gums healthy. We always recommend our patients to also use traditional string floss or interdental aids in addition to a water flosser to help prevent cavities.
Now’s the time to do it, because we have time. Whatever method you use, just make sure you’re using something to clean in between your teeth daily using the proper technique with the tool you have selected.
- Try to remember to leave the toothpaste on your teeth after you brush. The idea behind that is, if you’re using a fluoride toothpaste, you want that fluoride to sit on your teeth, so it can do its job preventing cavities. If you rinse it off right away, because you swish with water and spit, you just rinsed away all the benefits.It’s hard to get used to this, when you’re so used to rinsing and spitting. Lots of people don’t like the feeling of toothpaste on their teeth but if you leave it on at night and put the night guard and the retainer in right away, you would not even feel the texture anymore. If you are someone who just can’t get into it because of the texture or you forget and just rinse the toothpaste off, definitely consider using a fluoride mouthwash before bed. Swish with the fluoride mouth rinse, spit and then do not drink water after, because you want that fluoride mouthwash just sit on your teeth doing its job to help prevent cavities.
We know some of these tips might have sounded like a lot. We don’t want to overwhelm you, so just start slow. Add one thing to your routine that we mentioned, even if it’s as simple as adding that one extra brushing session after lunch. That alone can help so much. You can even just focus on drinking more water throughout the day.
You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of products right now, but if you do happen to have a water flosser sitting somewhere in a closet, consider taking it out of the closet and plugging it in. Just do the best you can at home and use these ways to improve your oral health during quarantine until we can all safely go back to the dental office. Who knows maybe when we go back, you’ll impress your hygienist on how well you’ve been taking care of your teeth.