Despite the big adjustments in everyone’s lives meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is still important to maintain good oral health. This can even be part of our efforts to stay safe and keep others safe. So what can we do to manage good dental health and coronavirus concerns at the same time?
Preventative Care at Home
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 begins at home with good hygiene and staying away from places where exposure is likely. For this reason the American Dental Association has recommended dentists provide emergency care only at this time. This means in office preventative care will be interrupted for a time. You can pitch in by taking preventative care seriously in your home, and it is very simple. Good dental health and coronavirus prevention begins with excellent dental hygiene. Do your best to keep your mouth healthy and clean by brushing thoroughly at least 2 times a day, and flossing regularly. This simple routine may be able to reduce plaque and prevent decay, and keep plaque from irritating your gums and causing gum disease. Good dental hygiene is the easiest and most foundational measure you can take for at home preventative dental care.
Support Oral Health with a Healthy Diet
Eat foods and drink beverages that make it easier for you to reduce plaque and care for your teeth and gums. Foods high in sugar or acid may help propagate plaque and soften enamel. Avoid sticky sugary candy, crumbly carbohydrates like crackers, chips, or pretzels, and acidic sugary drinks such as soft drinks, energy drinks, or fruit juice.
Reach instead for fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, cheese, and yogurt, and if you need a small sweet treat, a little chocolate is a good choice.
Brushing well and often isn’t the only way you can support your oral health. Brush smart too. If you brush immediately after eating foods that can encourage plaque build up, or soften enamel, you may cause more wear and tear on your enamel. It may reduce your wear on your enamel if you drink water instead immediately after eating these foods, and brush an hour later, giving enamel time to recover from exposure to sugars or acids.
Making healthy choices and reducing risky behavior may reduce probable exposure for you and your dental team, all part of doing all you can to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
Think Ahead and Know Your Options
Take time to learn more about your dental office’s policies and procedures in relation to COVID-19. Find out what services they are offering during this time. Taking care to know your options for supporting your dental health and coronavirus protocols at your dental office will go a long way towards helping you know who to call, and what to do if a dental care need should arise. It can also help to prevent spread of COVID-19, reducing unnecessary contact between dental staff and patients. This is a strange time for all of us, where many things are changing, but if we work together, we can find solutions and make plans that ensure help keep as many people safe and healthy as possible, preventing the spread of this virus, and meeting your dental needs.
If you need to consult with a dentist during this time about your current dental care needs, call our Santa Fe, NM local dentist to talk with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.