COVID-19 is forcing many dental practices to close their offices for nonessential care. If you aren’t sure what this means, it basically refers to the most common preventive treatments you’re likely already used to, including exams, cleanings, and X-rays. If you aren’t sure why dental practices are doing this or what you need to do to keep your oral health in check, you’ll want to keep reading. With the help of a dentist, you can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and dental emergencies in the meantime!
Why are Dental Practices Closed?
You’ve likely been told how crucial it is to stay at home as much as possible in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, an extremely contagious and harmful virus that is causing massive disruptions in daily life. The same is true for dental offices, who have been classified as a high-risk area for the spread of germs. While dental offices already have very strict sanitation practices and protocols, they want to do everything possible to “flatten the curve” or reduce the number of new cases that appear in their communities.
Even though most dental practices are closed for nonessential services (including exams, cleanings, X-rays, cosmetic enhancements, etc.), they are still open to handle dental emergencies if they occur. Ideally, improving your at-home oral care and staying diligent should remove the need for visiting a dentist for emergency care, but they are always prepared to serve you in case one does occur. Here’s what you should do in the meantime.
Basic At-Home Care Tips
When practicing oral care at home, keep the following tips in mind to prevent tooth decay and gum disease:
- Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Make sure to brush all the surfaces of your teeth, especially the flat surfaces of the molars and premolars and the back surfaces facing the throat.
- Brush for at least two minutes at a time.
- Replace your toothbrush once every three to four months or once the bristles become frayed.
- Consider adding an oral rinse to your routine, making sure the product you choose contains fluoride and is alcohol-free.
- Eat a balanced diet that promotes gum and tooth health (ex. eating foods rich in calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C)
Avoiding Dental Emergencies
If you want to reduce your risk of avoiding dental emergencies, keep the following in mind:
- Never use your teeth as a tool, such as for opening packages or bottles.
- Avoid really hard foods that can potentially crack teeth (ex. ice cubes, popcorn kernels, hard candy, chewy breads.)
- Wear a nightguard if you grind and clench your teeth while you sleep at night.
- Always wear the right protective gear when playing contact sports, such as a mouthguard.
Daily oral care is essential regardless of whether a pandemic is occurring or not. However, now that access to dental offices is far more limited, it’s even more important to keep these tips in mind moving forward!
About Sebastian Dental
The dentists at Sebastian Dental care very deeply about helping patients stay happy and healthy for many years to come. Whether it’s through teaching them preventive tips when brushing and flossing at home or professional exams and cleanings, you can expect them to give you the personalized care and attention you deserve. If you are in need of treatment for a dental emergency, don’t hesitate to contact them through their website.