COVID-19 has changed many aspects of everyday life. It has affected virtually every corner of society, including the dental industry. Many dental offices have temporarily suspended their normal operations and are only offering emergency and urgent care. What, then, should you do if your routine dental treatment has been postponed? A dentist in Lovell is here to provide useful tips for keeping up with dental hygiene through the quarantine. Applying these suggestions will prevent new oral health problems and stop current ones from rapidly worsening.
Properly brushing your teeth can do much to slow the spread of existing tooth decay and prevent the formation of new cavities. To make sure your brushing is as effective as possible, you should:
- Brush for about two minutes at least twice a day
- Do not forget to brush the backs of your teeth and the area along the gum line
- Be gentle — overzealous brushing can irritate your gums and cause premature wear and tear on tooth enamel
- Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste to help remineralize your teeth
You should floss your teeth once a day, preferably at night. Making sure you go to bed with a clean mouth is important because if you allow plaque and bacteria to linger on your teeth overnight, your chances of suffering decay increase.
Here are a few tips on flossing technique:
- Do not “snap” the floss between your teeth — gentleness is vital!
- Start with a long string of floss, and continually switch to a clean section of the floss as you move from tooth to tooth. You should have 1 – 2 inches of clean floss taut between your fingers at all times.
- Clean the sides of both teeth that surround a space instead of just inserting the floss and quickly pulling it out.
Use a Mouthwash
Using a mouthwash can help you to make sure your mouth is as clean as possible. Simply swish with it for 30 – 60 seconds either before or after you brush. Be sure to choose a mouthwash that fits your dental needs. For example, a fluoride-containing product may be best if you are concerned about decay. If you have gum disease, a mouthwash that is designed to fight gingivitis may be your ideal choice.
Contact Your Dentist
When dental practices resume normal (or somewhat normal) operations, they are likely to be much busier than usual. Thus, if you want to secure an appointment slot that is convenient for your schedule, you should contact your dentist to book your next visit as soon as you can. Or, if your dentist’s office reaches out to you with an automatically rescheduled appointment time, you should be quick to confirm or request a different time.
Your dentist is looking forward to seeing you! Until your next appointment, use the above tips to maintain your dental hygiene through the quarantine.
About the Author
Dr. Lance Anderson is a general dentist who offers a broad range of services, including emergency care, restorative care, dental cleanings in Lovell, and much more. He earned his dental degree from The University of Louisville in 2012. He maintains memberships in the American Dental Association and the Wyoming Dental Association. Dr. Anderson and our team are committed to supporting our patients during this unprecedented time. To request an appointment or find out how we’re keeping our patients and team safe from COVID-19, contact us at 307-548-7654.