Tips To Maintain Oral Hygiene During Covid-19
Health is wealth. Be it your body, mind, or even your teeth and gums, maintaining good hygiene and taking precautions is the only means to leading a healthy lifestyle.
The covid-19 pandemic has made it very difficult to get regular health checkups. The hospitals are running short of resources, and the medical practitioners, regardless of their specialities, are in constant havoc trying to keep up with the increasing health problems in the public.
Additionally, visiting the facility during the pandemic could result in close contact with infected people who have not yet been diagnosed. This raises the possibility of inadvertently procuring covid-19 which may then pass on to your loved ones due to ignorance.
Why it is important to maintain oral hygiene during the Covid-19 pandemic
Without the proper means to get your teeth and gums checked out, it is necessary to take preventive measures and maintain good and healthy oral hygiene, at least till it is safe to visit the dentist again.
Not only can you suffer from toothaches, cavities, and discomfort in the gums but neglecting oral hygiene results in several other secondary threats.
Covid-19 popularly affects people with underlying health issues that weaken their immune systems. Although it doesn’t seem like it, poor oral health causes a significant lowering of your immunity, leaving you vulnerable to diseases.
Furthermore, the oral symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to the common flu, resulting in cough, phlegm, and bleeding gums. This makes it rather difficult to determine the root cause of your ailment. Therefore, with good oral hygiene, you can eliminate the suspicions to a certain extent.
Some helpful tips to maintain healthy oral hygiene during the Covid-19 pandemic
Here are a few simple tips you can follow at home in order to improve and maintain your oral health and prevent the need to visit your dentist just yet. Not to mention good measures to keep up your immunity during the pandemic.
- Don’t poke your gums and teeth with toothpicks and nails
Using sharp toothpicks or gnawing at your teeth and gums with your nails can cause the skin to break. This opens up the possibility of infections in the area, not to mention bleeding. It significantly reduces immunity. But you cannot leave the area unattended either as it may fester cavities and build-up.
Floss your teeth after meals to get rid of any food stuck in there. The fine material of the floss removes all manners of food particles as well as residual build-up without harming your teeth or gums.
This practice is highly recommended after every meal for best results.
- Avoid touching your face, lips, and teeth unnecessarily
Most people have a nervous habit of touching their faces, picking their teeth, or skinning their lips. These habits must be actively discouraged to maintain good oral hygiene.
Don’t pick your teeth, instead floss them after a meal. If there is tartar or calcium build-up then consider brushing them with a medium-bristled toothbrush.
If your lips are peeling, leave them alone. Not only does removing the skin make it bleed but it also opens wounds for bacterial growth. Apply a lip balm or clarified butter to smoothen the skin instead of scaling it.
Lastly, do not touch your face, especially if you are in the middle of an activity. Germs transfer easily from your hands and it is likely that they will get in your mouth without preamble.
- Regularly change your toothbrushes
It is a common practice to change your toothbrushes or the heads of electric toothbrushes every three months. However, keeping in mind the increased risk during the pandemic, consider a faster-changing cycle.
With everyday use, toothbrushes tend to lose their strength; more so if they have soft bristles. It does very little to rid your teeth and gums of build-up. Therefore, consider changing your toothbrushes every month, at least during the pandemic.
Additionally, consider switching to medium bristles as soft bristles are best suited for worn-out gums and hard bristles can easily injure your mouth.
- Thoroughly clean your toothbrushes before and after use
They also tend to fester infectious growth. This may be a result of bleeding gums, tartar, or even hidden cavities. These problems go unnoticed and eventually lead to poor oral hygiene.
It is important to clean the toothbrushes thoroughly before use in case of any infestation or dirt in case they are left in the open. You must also clean and disinfect them after use to rid them of any residual blood or build-up.
- Store your toothbrushes and floss safely
It is best to always store your toothbrushes in cool dry places. Try not to leave them out in the open as insects might lick on them or worse. It is also highly recommended that you dry your toothbrushes before placing them in their holders.
The moisture on the bristles and the head can cause molds. These may lead to bacterial infestations or the growth of algae. Needless to say, these influxes result in infections in your mouth.
The best practice for oral hygiene is to dry your toothbrushes and store them in a safe enclosure or under UV lights.
- Incorporate fluoride in your oral hygiene
Fluorides are an excellent solution to oral health. Incorporate it in your oral routine mandatorily, especially during the pandemic.
Use toothpaste with significant fluoride content and make sure to reach every nook and cranny of your mouth with the toothbrush.
People often make the mistake of brushing and rinsing quickly which does not allow the fluoride to take effect. It is best to brush your teeth slowly or give them a few extra seconds after you brush them before you rinse. This helps the fluoride in your toothpaste to sufficiently act on your teeth and clean them up thoroughly.
- Consume fluoridated water while avoiding alcohol and tobacco
The consumption of alcohol and tobacco is not only harmful to your liver and lungs but also to the mouth. Smoking or chewing tobacco tends to coat your teeth which is unsightly and very harmful. The nicotine cuts through the layers of calcium and weakens your teeth as well as the gums.
Similarly, the burning effects of alcohol weakens your teeth and causes thrush in your throat. The dehydration caused by alcohol can also result in dry mouth and soreness which invites several infections.
At least during the Covid-19 pandemic, refrain from the vices and consume fluoridated water occasionally to maintain steady oral hygiene and prevent vulnerability.
- Include antiseptic mouthwashes in your oral routine
Mouthwashes are highly underrated but they are your best friends for healthy oral hygiene.
Brushing your teeth and massaging your gums are not the only necessities of oral health. People tend to neglect the rest of the mouth which is a sign of poor hygiene.
Gurgling with antiseptic mouthwashes not only cleanses the teeth but also the insides of your cheek, under the tongue, the roof of your mouth, and the opening of your throat. Since they are technically fluids, they reach remote corners of your mouth and disinfect them thoroughly.
It is good practice to incorporate antiseptic mouthwashes each time you brush your teeth.
- Brush twice a day
Brushing your teeth after every meal may be cumbersome. However, you must brush when you wake up to remove all the infections that may have festered in your sedentary state. It freshens up your breath along with removing all infestations from your mouth.
It is also primordial to brush your teeth before you go to bed. This is because even if you floss the food out of your teeth and gums, your tongue still contains molecular particles. Overnight, these particles invite germs and cavities, thus leading to poor oral health.
Therefore, you must brush at least twice a day and use mouthwash afterwards to disinfect your mouth.
- Wash and sanitize your hands and general areas
It is necessary to wash your hands thoroughly with soap or disinfecting hand wash before and after your oral routine. This way, you prevent germs from transmitting onto your toothbrush or into your mouth.
You must also keep the washbasin clean and sanitized at all times. If these regions fester infections then they will inadvertently transfer to your hands, and then your mouth.
- Always wear a mask around outsiders
Most importantly, during the pandemic, always wear a mask to prevent spittle from flying in and out of your mouth as they are a veritable cornucopia of infections. A double-layered mask keeps the germs from directly attacking your immune system and keeps away the flu-like symptoms.
Maintaining oral hygiene and taking preventive measures is a preliminary means to avoid succumbing to the threats of the pandemic. You don’t need to visit crowded dental facilities and contract diseases. Just practice good oral hygiene and experience the multiple benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
Follow these tips diligently to keep you and your loved ones safe during the covid-19 pandemic and maintain good oral health.