March 20, 2020
More than any other time in recent history, people are trying to use less of their household commodities during COVID-19. Not only because some of them have been hard to find (like toilet paper), but also because it reduces trips to the store and lowers the chance of exposure to the virus. But if you’ve ever paid attention to advertisements for items like toothpaste, you’ll notice that they show using a lot of the product. However, you may be surprised at how little toothpaste, mouthwash and floss a dentist in East Islip actually recommends! Keep reading to learn how to conserve these products, minimize your trips to the store, and maintain good oral health during COVID-19.
How Much Toothpaste, Mouthwash and Floss Should You Be Using?
- Toothpaste – Although your toothbrush bristles do most of the work to clean your teeth and gums, toothpaste contains fluoride to prevent cavities and flavoring to freshen your breath. Family dentists recommend using just a rice-sized dab of toothpaste or a light smear for kids younger than 3. Beyond that, a pea-sized amount is plenty for children over age 3 as well as adults.
- Mouthwash – Mouthwash can be a great addition to brushing and flossing. Most will have a fill-line in the cap so you know exactly how much to use. If not, a good rule of thumb is about 2/3 of an ounce.
- Floss – Use roughly 18 inches of floss, which should be enough to ensure that you’re using a clean piece between each pair of teeth. This prevents the spread of cavity-causing bacteria from one tooth to another.
Additional Tips To Maintain Your Oral Health During COVID-19
Keeping up with your oral hygiene is incredibly beneficial right now. And when you use the following tips as well, your smile will stay even healthier:
- Don’t put your teeth at risk for chipping by using them to open bottles or packages.
- Avoid bad habits like nail biting, chewing on ice, hard candies, and pens or pencils. If you find yourself needing a substitute to stop, chew sugar-free gum or snack on crunchy vegetables like celery and carrots.
- Don’t forget to schedule a checkup for everyone in the family when dental offices reopen for routine care. This way, any small issues will be found and treated early on before they’ve caused too much damage.
During COVID-19, maintaining your oral hygiene at home is the best way to prevent painful problems like toothaches. And, with these tips, you won’t be running to the store every week to stock up on supplies!
About the Author
Dr. Jessica Henner is a family dentist in East Islip and a graduate of the Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine. She and her colleagues are committed to helping their patients during COVID-19 and are still open for emergency care at this time. If you have any questions or want to know more about your oral health during COVID-19, she can be reached via her website.
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