The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting stay at home orders have drastically changed how everyday life looks for a lot of people, including your dentist. Until your Houston dentist reopens their practice, it’s up to you to keep your smile healthy and intact. Thankfully, keeping your pearly whites safe and sparkling while social distancing can be as easy as practicing a thorough and effective oral health routine. Read on for your guide to keeping up with dental hygiene through quarantine.
Tips for Clean Teeth
It’s common knowledge that regularly brushing your teeth is essential to a healthy smile. However, brushing your teeth incorrectly can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria. The last thing you need during quarantine is a cavity or toothache! Make sure you’re properly cleaning your smile by:
- Brushing for two minutes twice a day.
- Only using gentle pressure to avoid eroding your enamel and damaging your gums.
- Always using an ADA approved fluoridated toothpaste.
- Remembering to brush the backs of your teeth and around your gumline.
Brushing Up on Flossing
Did you know that brushing only cleans 60% of the surfaces of your teeth according to dental experts? The other 40% of surfaces are places that your toothbrush bristles can’t reach, like between your teeth and just underneath your gumline. Dental floss is thin enough to reach these small spaces and durable enough to dislodge any accumulating plaque or bacteria. A few tips on flossing properly:
- Never snap the floss against your gums.
- Use a string of floss about 18 inches long so you can use a clean section to clean each tooth.
- Carefully clean both sides of your teeth.
- Consult the American Dental Association for diagrams on how to floss properly.
Choosing the Right Mouthwash
Mouthwash can be an extremely beneficial addition to your daily dental routine, but only if you choose the one that’s best for you. Cosmetic mouthwashes are only designed to freshen your breath, while therapeutic mouthwashes aim to boost your oral health. Some oral rinses can help you treat gingivitis, tooth discoloration, and plaque buildup. If you have a chronically dry mouth, you should avoid products with alcohol in them. Additionally, sensitive or weakened teeth can be eased by using a fluoridated mouthwash.
Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer until your dentist reopens and you can get the professional dental checkup and cleaning you need after weeks of quarantine. However, until then, it’s a good idea to call and reschedule your appointment so you don’t have to wait any longer than necessary.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Gray has been caring for the happy, healthy smiles of Houston, TX for over 30 years now. Now more than ever, he and his talented team encourage their patients to practice excellent oral hygiene at home until they can welcome you back to their safe, clean, and germ-free practice. To keep you healthy while you get the treatment you need, you can expect to see numerous extra precautions that have been added to our already rigorous infection control protocols. If you need urgent dental care or would like to reschedule your appointment, feel free to contact the team via their website or at (281) 493-9395.