HOW CAN YOU PROPERLY TAKE CARE OF YOUR TEETH DURING THIS PANDEMIC?
We are battling to protect our health during this CoVid-19 pandemic and it seems everything else about health were put aside because of this. However, the pandemic will not stop other concerning health conditions from becoming worse to worst as we are sometimes forced to delegate them as less important including oral health diseases. American Dental Association survey shows that stress-related oral health condition have increased in volume at an estimated 81% in comparison to pre-pandemic time. 71% of those oral conditions is teeth grinding, 63% chipped teeth, 63% cracked teeth and 62% TMD symptoms. And, due to the pandemic that’s quite unpredictable wherein it can rise in numbers of affected people at any time, countries like the Philippines are battling how to really manage it and the health professionals like dentists are facing challenges on how to protect their staff, there patients as well as themselves from contracting this deadly virus while they are performing their treatments. This becomes difficult on many patients that have dental problems to get dental treatments as majority of dental clinics have reduced their clinic hours and number of patients they can accept in a day. Some even closed down either because of economic reasons or fear of contracting this CoVid-19 virus.
With this situation, it becomes imperative that people becomes more vigilant in preventive and home care rather than allowing our oral conditions get worst that will lead to the necessity of a dental treatment. Here are the simple oral health guide in taking care of your teeth during the pandemic:
1. Caries is caused by biofilm and plaque, thus, do brush your teeth for two minutes, at least twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush or electric toothbrush with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Clean the spaces in-between teeth once a day, typically with dental floss.
Gargling with over-the-counter mouth rinses with fluoride is also a good supplement after tooth brushing and flossing.
Do READ this POST to Guide You on How to Do Oral Hygiene Right: CLICK HERE
3. Good and healthy diet is always a MUST not only for your oral health but in general. Limit sugar intake, along with other carbohydrate-containing foods and drinks, such as sodas, fruit juices, sweetened coffee and tea, and candy. We are not saying you must completely avoid their consumption, but, always in moderation, after all, this is the key to good life.
4. Try to maintain a good mental health. We all know that because of this pandemic, a lot of people are stress, depress, anxious and these psychological conditions impact have many indirect effects on oral health. Such as certain medications prescribed for depression and anxiety are known to cause dry mouth, which harms oral health. Increased anxiety is linked to bruxism, the clenching or grinding of teeth. More tobacco and alcohol use are not good for your teeth. Poorer diet can lead to many health problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can damage teeth. Thus, doing things that you love that gives you positive vibe or finding a good place within yourself whether through spiritual, physical or relaxing activities will assists in keeping you sane and feeling positive.
5. There are some home remedies that can help when you are suffering from oral conditions that can temporarily address your situation if visiting your dentist is not yet an option:
(A) Salt Water Rinse
Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup of warm water and use this as a mouth rinse at least 2x a day. A simple salt water rinse is a common home remedy for a toothache. It is a natural antibacterial agent that may reduce inflammation. Thus, helps protect damaged teeth from infection. Doing this may also help remove any food particles or debris stuck in the teeth or gums.
(B) Over The Counter Oral Ointments
If you have canker sores, you may buy from your local drugstore over the counter ointments that can deal with it such as Daktarin or Neosporin ointment. These ointments can immediately numb the area and heal the lesion in a matter of few days.
(C) Toothache Drops
For open tooth decay and you are experiencing pain, an over the counter drops you can buy from the drugstore that contains clove oil with camphor, chlorobutanol and creosote or just straight out eugenol. Soak your cotton ball (into the size of your tooth cavity) with the solution and place it directly to that area. It is best you clean well first that area by tooth brushing and isolate the surrounding area with cotton before placing the soak cotton. This will protect your gums and other parts of your mouth from sometimes its bad taste or stinging sensation or even accidentally swallowing it.
(D) Over The Counter Pain Reliever Medicines
Taking over the counter pain reliever medicines will also help if you are suffering from severe toothache. However, if taking medications becomes necessary for you, then, make sure you start making an appointment with your dentist as well to deal your condition as soon as possible.
A reminder, when it becomes now necessary for you to visit your dentist, here’s your check list of what to expect:
(1) Your dentist will screen you for COVID-19 symptoms or even request for you to submit a recent CoVid-free laboratory test result.
(2) Your dentist’s office may call you in the days leading up to your appointment to make sure you don’t have symptoms.
(3) You may be asked to come to your appointment alone, wear a mask, and wash your hands while at the office.
(4) Your dental appointment may sometimes require for you to wait and be properly scheduled.
(5) There might be an additional charge for infection control fee on top of your dental treatment. This is to cover certain costs that the dental clinic incur for a more vigilant infection control protocols that they opted to charge you rather than increasing their dental treatment prices per se.
We have heard several times this saying “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure”. This saying is more relevant than ever now because as much as your dentist would like you to visit his/her clinic, with the current situation, your visit becomes a double edge sword to your of dentist. Dental practice is also, of course, not only for service but for business and not having patients means death for your dentist's dental practice, yet, it may also means death to your dentist if they contract this virus through you. Thus, while we are all adjusting to this new normal, it is imperative that we help ourselves in keeping and being healthy especially with our oral health.
Dr. M. Jean Villanueva-Galindez - Writer | Editor
ADA News HPI poll: Dentists see increased prevalence of stress-related oral health conditions