May 11, 2020
Based on recommendations from the CDC for preventing the spread of COVID-19, dental offices everywhere have temporarily closed their doors for routine and preventive care (although they’re still open for dental emergencies). If you’re usually diligent about getting 6-month checkups and cleanings, you may be wondering how missing these visits is affecting your smile. Not to worry – with the 5 tips below, you’ll have some simple, effective strategies for keeping your teeth and gums healthy at home until you can see a dentist in East Islip again. Learn more below!
1. Chew Sugar-Free Gum Between Meals
Stock up on sugar-free gum and keep it handy for chewing between meals. It’s a great way to help you resist the temptation of snacking. It also stimulates salivary flow, which washes away residual sugars and protects your enamel by neutralizing cavity-causing acids.
2. Brush Your Teeth Properly
Brushing technique is a big part of how effectively you remove plaque, bacteria, and food debris from your teeth and gums. Angle your bristles at 45 degrees towards your gumline and brush for at least two minutes with light, gentle pressure. Pay special attention to ensure that you’re brushing all of your teeth, including the front, back, and chewing surfaces.
3. Make Flossing More Convenient
Many people struggle with flossing (especially during quarantine), but there are ways to make it easier. First, don’t forget that some flossing is better than no flossing, so don’t give up entirely if you miss a day or two! You may also try flossing your bottom teeth in the morning and your top teeth at night, or flossing right after lunch or dinner if you’re too tired at bedtime.
4. Don’t Forget About Your Tongue
Thoroughly cleaning your teeth and gums is the foundation of good oral hygiene, but your tongue actually harbors a surprising amount of bacteria that lead to bad breath, cavities, and gum disease. Keep it clean each day by either using a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to lightly brush over the surface.
5. Minimize the Impact of Sugar
With every bite or sip of sweet foods and beverages, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid that causes cavities. And since many people are snacking more than usual in self-isolation, it’s important to reach for low or no-sugar foods such as:
- Hardboiled eggs
- Veggies with spinach dip or guacamole
- Fresh fruit (not dried)
- Low or no-sugar yogurt with cinnamon
- Lunchmeat or salami
It’s natural to feel worried when you have to miss your routine checkups and cleanings. But keep in mind that dentists will be open for these visits again soon! In the meantime, these 5 tips will keep your smile in great shape.
About the Author
As a general and emergency dentist in East Islip, Dr. Julie Boerger always has her patients’ best interests at heart. To help them get through the COVID-19 pandemic with their oral health intact, she’s happy to provide tips for everyday habits that lower their risk of dental problems. If you need dental care for any reason or simply have questions, she can be reached via her website.
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