Prevent Dental Problems during COVID
The experienced dentists at Bell Dental view our patients as family. As such, we always prioritize their health, safety, and comfort. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has become increasingly important.
While some dental practices remain closed, we have started offering routine dental services again, with added safety precautions in place. Still, we understand that for some of our Lake Jackson, TX, patients, staying home is the safest option for them right now.
Whether a person is able to schedule regular dental services at this time or not, there are things they can do to prevent dental problems during COVID. Here we offer some tips and care practices that will help individuals maintain good oral health during the ongoing pandemic.
The key to preventing dental problems during COVID is to block the formation of plaque and tartar on the teeth and around the gumline. As always, one of the best ways for people to do this is to brush regularly. We advise our Lake Jackson patients to brush at least twice a day. Brushing after every meal is best, but we understand that brushing after lunch is usually difficult. If it is not possible to brush after a meal, a quick rinse with water is a good substitute.
When brushing, technique is important. The toothbrush should be pointed toward the gumline at a 45 degree angle. Small circular strokes should be made across the outer and inner surface of the teeth. Short back and forth strokes can be made against the biting surface of the teeth. Ideally, people should brush their teeth for two minutes, being sure to reach all areas of the mouth.
Don’t Forget to Floss
Flossing is also extremely beneficial for oral health. We recommend that people floss their teeth once a day. Dental floss can reach in between the teeth and get into tight spaces that a toothbrush might miss. As with brushing, technique is important when it comes to flossing. Start with a long piece of floss (around 18 to 24 inches). Wrap the floss around the fingers and glide it between the teeth. When the floss gets to the base of the teeth it should be curved slightly so it makes a “c” shape and is able to hug beneath the tooth and above the gumline.
Choose the Right Toothbrush
The right toothbrush should clean the teeth without causing excessive force or damage. For most of our Lake Jackson patients, a toothbrush with soft bristles is best. Soft bristles can adequately clean the teeth without harming tooth enamel.
If patients are unable to schedule regular dental cleanings during COVID, they should consider using an electric toothbrush. An electric toothbrush is especially effective at preventing plaque buildup, and most offer the added benefit of a built-in timer, which ensures that the teeth are brushed for the full recommended two minutes.
Make Sure Your Toothbrush Is Clean
A toothbrush is not meant to last forever. The bristles will wear down with repeated use. Additionally, toothbrushes can harbor bacteria. To get the most benefits out of oral hygiene habits, patients need to have a clean toothbrush. A toothbrush should be replaced every three to four months, or following an illness.
Pay Attention to Your Diet
Diet can have a big impact on oral health. Unfortunately, being stuck at home due to COVID, along with the stress of a pandemic, has led to excess snacking for many. And often it is sugary or starchy snacks that individuals are grabbing. To protect the teeth from dental problems, it is important to minimize foods and beverages that are high in sugar, starches, or acids.
Contact Bell Dental
If you have questions about oral hygiene practices, or are ready to schedule a routine dental exam and cleaning, the dentists at Bell Dental are here to help. Contact our office online at your earliest convenience, or call (979) 297-1201 to speak with a member of our team.