With a stay-at-home order in place for the majority of states as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, healthcare professionals are restricting or rescheduling routine services for patients.
Dentists are being encouraged by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cancel non-emergency appointments for regular care.
As a result of these recommendations, you won’t be able to receive your normal care think checkups, cleanings, and other elective procedures during this time.
So how can you keep your teeth safe and healthy during the COVID-19 epidemic? With most people self-isolating to help control the spread of the virus, you can do your part by taking excellent care of your teeth at home until you can resume your normal dental visits again!
Keep to Your Oral Care Routine
Many people have had their routine turned completely upside down as a result of stay-at-home orders and school and workplace closings. Whether you’re working from home or have restricted access to your office or workplace, it’s still important to continue your oral care routine.
Stick to a schedule as much as possible, and if you need to adopt a new schedule during this time, then do so. Be sure to brush twice a day preferably first thing in the morning before breakfast and last thing at night before bed and floss once a day to keep your teeth clean and free of tooth decay and gum disease!
Don’t Misuse Your Teeth
You might be tempted to open a package with your teeth when getting scissors isn’t convenient or to eat the half-popped kernels of popcorn at the bottom of the bowl, but misusing your teeth can lead to an injury!
Avoiding a dental emergency is in your best interest right now so you can eliminate the need for urgent care and wait to get any non-emergency issues with your smile addressed.
Don’t misuse your teeth during this time of quarantining. This means don’t chew ice, crack nuts or kernels, or use your teeth for anything other than biting and chewing food. Misusing your teeth can not only lead to painful cuts on your gum tissue, but chipped or fractured teeth and damaged dental restorations as well.
Keep You and Your Family Safe
During this time of kids staying home from school and parents scrambling to make adjustments to their daily lives, there can be a lot of extra energy in the house. It’s challenging to adopt a new routine and follow precautions, but do your best to keep your children occupied in a safe and healthy manner.
Keeping your children engaged will help them avoid accidents that can stem from being bored during quarantine. There are many activity ideas online that can help children keep to a routine and stay focused. For older children, you can explain to them that avoiding careless actions can help keep everyone safe and healthy during this challenging time.
Of course, it’s a good time to encourage your children to wash their hands and avoid touching their face as much as possible even if you are staying home!
Continue to Wear Your Retainer, Mouthguard, or Invisalign
If you have an orthodontic retainer, mouthguard for teeth grinding, or Invisalign clear aligners, be sure to continue to wear your dental appliances as directed.
With the COVID-19 pandemic and the many uncertainties that exist right now, people are experiencing more stress and anxiety than usual, which are two things that can influence teeth grinding. It’s important to keep wearing your retainer, mouthguard, or Invisalign as recommend.
If you have any questions about the use of your oral appliances, or have experienced a change in your oral health and aren’t sure if you should continue to wear your device, don’t hesitate to contact us at Saunders DDS!
Be Aware of Your Dental Health
By paying attention to your oral health, you can usually identify any issues early and avoid a dental emergency.
However, some issues happen suddenly and require emergency dental attention, so don’t hesitate to call your dentist if you’re experiencing:
- Pain anywhere in your oral cavity that doesn’t go away
- A fever accompanying any toothaches or oral discomfort
- Sudden or severe tooth sensitivity
- A dental abscess (a lump in your gums or cheeks)
You can always call your Asheville dentist with questions regarding any symptoms you’re experiencing!
Keep to a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet will help support your immune system as well as your smile during COVID-19. Vitamin C and vitamin D are both essential vitamins for your immune system as well as your oral health.
Some of the worst foods and drinks for teeth include:
- Added sugar
- Refined carbohydrates
- Carbonated drinks
It’s important to drink plenty of water. Water can help support a healthy body, and keeps bacteria from harming your smile. While it can be challenging to eat healthy when your routine is off balance, take this opportunity of self-isolating to try some new recipes or have the kids get creative with their snacks!
Practice Toothbrush Hygiene
There’s never been a better time to practice excellent toothbrush hygiene. While the following will be helpful in protecting your smile and your health now, these are habits you should stick to even when there isn’t a health crisis among us!
- Never store your toothbrush in a closed container. Yes, this includes your medicine cabinet. Always keep your toothbrush in an open-air area (but not near the toilet unless you close the lid before flushing). It’s important for your toothbrush to dry out between brushings to help hinder the growth of bacteria.
- Replace as necessary. Aim to replace your toothbrush every few months or as recommended by your dentist in Asheville. If you’ve been sick recently, go ahead and begin using a new toothbrush as soon as you’ve recovered. (Keep an extra toothbrush on hand just in case!)
- Consider switching to electric. Some studies suggest that electric toothbrushes are better at removing plaque and supporting gum health, so this could be a worthy investment during this time of not being able to see your dentist in Asheville for your regular oral care!
Don’t Hesitate to Get in Touch With Questions!
At Saunders DDS, we’re here for our patients during this challenging time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with questions about your oral health or with a dental emergency. Call us at (828) 277-6060!