Since its origin from Wuhan, China, Coronavirus has been spreading rapidly to and within other countries. Although there were only a handful of cases in the United States at first, that number has increased dramatically in the past few weeks. Consequently, the federal government is urging citizens to practice preventative measures to slow the spread of Coronavirus, also called COVID-19.
One of these preventative measures is aimed at reducing person to person spread of the virus through social distancing and home isolation practices. Although the federal government recommends avoiding groups larger than 10 people, many states and local governments have elected to temporarily shut down all non-essential services in order to encourage people to stay in their homes.
In the midst of this COVID-19 crisis, the American Dental Association released a formal recommendation on April 1st, 2020 urging all dentists to temporarily close their practices, except in cases of dental emergencies. Consequently, dentists all over the country have cancelled elective and preventive dental treatments to minimize the chances of spreading the virus. To protect your oral health in the meantime, here are some general guidelines to follow:
Brush and Floss
In times such as these, our daily routines are likely to be interrupted. Even so, it is important to maintain your daily dental routine to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Remember to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste. You should also floss daily to clean the spaces between your teeth and along the gum line. Regular brushing and flossing help to decrease the amount of plaque and bacteria in your mouth, which will reduce your risk of developing tooth decay or gum disease.
Watch Your Sugar
Sugar is another key cause of tooth decay, therefore it is important to pay attention to how much sugar you are consuming each day. This is not to say that you can’t ever eat anything sweet, but you should limit the amount of sugar intake to avoid increasing your risk of dental cavities. After consuming sugar, you should also rinse your mouth with milk or water to remove excess sugar from the surface of your teeth.
Avoid Certain Foods
Certain foods that are hard, crunchy, chewy, or sticky can cause your teeth to fracture or chip in some cases. To prevent a dental emergency, it is recommended to avoid these foods altogether. However, breaking them into smaller pieces and exercising caution while biting into them is a way to minimize the risk if you must eat them.
Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools
Your teeth are intended for chewing and biting. Using your teeth to hold objects, open packages and bottles, or to tear things other than food can be damaging and can cause your teeth to become chipped or cracked. In some cases, your teeth may even become loose or fall out. As a result, you should always avoid these behaviors.
As the country continues to fight against COVID-19, we hope these guidelines will help you and your family fight against tooth decay and dental emergencies. However, in the case that you start to experience tooth pain or any kind of dental emergency, call our office immediately for further instruction.