Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us are now working from home. Because you’re spending so much time at home, now seems like as good a time as any to evaluate your health, particularly your oral health. Many people don’t typically take the time to make sure their teeth and gums are as healthy as can be. That’s why your dentist in Westchase District has written this list of tips for optimizing your oral health during quarantine.
Don’t Go to Bed Without Brushing
One of the last things you do before hitting the sack should be brushing and flossing. Otherwise, bacteria could build up on your teeth during the night. Not only does this give you a serious case of morning breath, but it can increase your likelihood of developing cavities and gum disease.
Don’t Neglect Your Tongue
Many people do an excellent job of cleaning their teeth but forget to brush their tongue. Bacteria can accumulate on your tongue and re-deposit themselves on your teeth and gums, increasing your risk for infection. Additionally, brushing your tongue can freshen your breath.
Treat Flossing as Important as Brushing
Brushing alone only cleans about three-fifths of the surfaces of your teeth. Luckily, flossing takes care of the rest. Set a nightly alarm so that you remember to floss before bed. Alternatively, you could set your floss down on your pillow every day so that you can’t go to bed without being reminded to clean between your teeth.
Rinse with Mouthwash
Mouthwash cleans the mouth in three ways:
Remineralizing the teeth Reducing the amount of acid in the mouth Cleaning areas of the mouth that are hard to reach with a toothbrush
Add rinsing with mouthwash to your daily oral hygiene routine. Just make sure to choose one without alcohol, because alcohol can dry out your mouth and actually up your risk of infection.
Wait Half an Hour After Eating to Brush
For about 30 minutes after you eat, your enamel becomes weaker due to the acids in the food you just consumed. It takes your saliva around half an hour to remineralize your teeth and neutralize these acids. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating could be abrasive to your teeth and wear down your enamel. While you wait, you could chew some sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production and freshen your breath.
Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you should let your oral health fall by the wayside. If anything, it gives you more opportunity to clean your pearly whites. Follow these tips and your teeth should still be clean and healthy on the other end of this quarantine.
About the Author
Dr. Chad Stapleton is a dentist in Houston who has earned a Fellowship with the prestigious Academy of General Dentistry. He also is a strong advocate of preventive care when it comes to optimizing oral health and keeping dental infections at bay. His practice, MDRN Dental, is still open, but only for treating dental emergencies. If you think you might have one, such as a serious toothache or a broken tooth, you can contact Dr. Stapleton’s office at (713) 706-4077.