Thanks to the recent spread of the novel coronavirus, your dentist is likely only open for emergency patients. Since any elective procedures like cleanings are now canceled, that means that at-home oral hygiene is more important than ever before. Here are some tips on how to keep up with your dental health while quarantined and in the event that you get sick as well as some advice on how to stop the spread of the virus in the first place.
How to Stop the Spread of Coronavirus
Because there is currently no vaccine or cure for this new disease, the most important thing you can do is avoid transmitting the virus to other people. The virus mainly spreads through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. However, a person can still spread the virus even if they display no symptoms.
For this reason, it helps to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds right after you come into contact with another person. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
If you can, stay at home unless you absolutely have to go out. You may have heard of this practice, known as social distancing. It is used in order to slow the spread of the virus so as not to overwhelm the healthcare system.
How to Keep Up with Your Dental Health
While the health of your teeth and gums might be the last thing on your mind during a pandemic, it’s still massively important. Your dentist is still open for emergencies, but you don’t want to have to make an emergency appointment if you can help it. Here are some simple ways to keep your mouth healthy during these times:
- Practice oral hygiene. You should still be brushing and flossing every day. Add rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash to your routine for good measure. If you’ve been sick, replace your toothbrush after you recover. Otherwise, your toothbrush may be able to re-infect you later.
- Choose sugarless medications. Many cough drops and cold medicines are chock full of sugar to help them taste better. However, all this extra sugar can cause painful cavities. Opt for a sugar-free variety to keep your teeth healthy.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water not only helps fight illness, but it keeps your mouth hydrated. Saliva helps rinse food particles and bacteria out of your mouth, decreasing your risk of tooth decay. Sip water throughout the day.
- Call your dentist if you have any concerns. Although they might only be open for emergency patients, they should still be able to provide some general medical advice.
Although this novel coronavirus is scary, you should be able to avoid it if you follow the tips provided above. And if for some reason you do contract it, keep the above oral health tips in mind so your teeth stay in great shape.
About the Author
Dr. Andrew Nawrocki received his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. He later earned a certificate in prosthodontics (the creation and placement of artificial teeth) from the same university. He has also been named a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. His practice is still taking emergency patients, so if you should find yourself experiencing dental pain, contact his office by calling (386) 677-1046.