The coronavirus is upon us and has affected all areas of our life including our dental health. With all dental offices unable to see patients due to federal and state mandates, your dental health is more important now than ever. There are some things you can do at home that will help you prevent problems until you are unable to return to your dentist.
Dentists can take care of dental pain, swelling and bleeding, but because they are not currently permitted to perform routine cleanings, your home care is essential. Good dental health will prevent infections that could lead you to a greater susceptibility to the virus.
Brushing your teeth is critical to oral health. Whether you use a manual toothbrush or an electric one, the bristles only clean the areas that they touch. Slow down and spend at least two minutes to clean with a brush. That’s how long it will take to clean all the exposed surfaces of your teeth. Another thing is to use a soft touch. Scrubbing your teeth is only going to damage your tooth surface. You are trying to remove the sticky gelatinous plaque—it takes a soft touch only!
Now you are ready for dental floss. Whether you floss before or after brushing, the movement against the tooth removes the bugs. By making a “C” shape as you move the floss up and down on the tooth, you will remove the plaque. Hard deposits called tartar (or calculus), can’t be removed with floss, and you will need our help to remove those after things return to normal. For now, just do your best.
Removing the plaque protects not only the visible enamel but promotes gum health as you gently massage the tissues. Flossing loosens food and removes plaque from the areas in between and behind the teeth and is equally important to your overall dental health.
Mouthwashes can help to remove food debris and freshen breath, but don’t really remove the plaque that causes decay and gum disease. It is a nice follow up to good homecare, but doesn’t do much by itself. Fluoride rinses like ACT or Fluorogard are effective at preventing cavities between the teeth.
Water picks are likewise effective to loosen food particles, but they don’t remove plaque. Toothbrushing is the only way.
Not only does brushing and flossing prevent decay and gum disease it decreases inflammation of the gums. Inflammation is associated with whole body disease like heart attacks and strokes, and can make you more susceptible to infections, including coronavirus.
During these times, your dental care is still important. At Avon Dental Care, we are committed to keeping you healthy now and in the future.
If you have pain or swelling or bleeding, the dental board is allowing us to see you for emergencies. We can get you comfortable and plan more definitive care later.
Call us if you are in pain. We will be sure to contact you as soon as we can return to a normal schedule. We are all in this together, and we can help. If you need advice or information, call us at 440-517-7765. You are our top priority. Stay safe and healthy.