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Your oral hygiene may not be at the top of your mind during this current COVID-19 pandemic, but it will be if you end up developing a painful cavity or infection. And with all dental offices cancelling non-essential appointments and procedures in order to stop the spread of the disease, maintaining good oral health while in quarantine is of utmost importance.

Although a lot of things are out of our control at the moment, it’s important to focus on what we can control in our lives, such as our oral health habits. Maintaining a bit of normalcy in our lives during this pandemic such as continuing a good oral hygiene routine, will not only help you avoid a dental emergency, but also help flatten the curve by staying home instead of heading into a dental office.

If a dental emergency does occur and your are experiencing severe tooth or gum pain, think you might have an infection, or have had facial trauma, then you need to call your dental professional immediately — but avoid heading to the hospital if possible. Chipped teeth or fillings are not considered an emergency unless you are also experiencing pain.

Some tips to maintain good oral health while at home include:

  • Routine: Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, brush your tongue and floss your teeth at least once a day. Gargling and rinsing with warm salt water is also recommended.
  • Diet: Snack on teeth-friendly foods like broccoli, carrots, apples, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, chickpeas, milk and low-sugar milk alternatives. These will help keep your teeth and enamel strong.
  • Limit Sugar: Sugar converts into acid in the mouth, which can wear down the enamel of your teeth and also create cavities. Acidic fruits, teas, and coffee can also erode tooth enamel.
  • Cavities: It’s good to check around your mouth as you are brushing and flossing to make sure there is nothing out of the ordinary such as discolouration on the enamel, a small cavity being formed, any lumps, sores or patches, or unexplained bleeding. Feel free to contact your dental professional if you think you might have a cavity.
  • Toothbrush: Keep your toothbrush, floss picks and tongue cleaners covered, as these items are very sensitive to transmitting viruses

Following these easy, but necessary suggestion will keep you maintain and healthy, pain-free mouth.

Anaida is a registered dental hygienist and the ambassador and trainer for both the Ontario and Toronto Dental Health Associations

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