April 26, 2020
With most people stuck at home due to COVID-19, many are taking the time to evaluate their health, such as their diet and exercise routines. One aspect that some are failing to consider, though, is their oral health. Since the health of your mouth impacts the rest of your body, it’s important that, even during a pandemic, you keep your teeth and gums in good shape. Here are a few tips from a dentist in Raleigh on how to boost your oral health at home.
Use the Proper Brushing Technique
Many people simply run their brush along their teeth, which is unfortunately not enough to remove excess food particles and plaque from your mouth. Use soft pressure to move your brush in small, circular motions. Additionally, most people don’t brush for nearly as long as they should, which is two minutes. It helps to sing the alphabet song to yourself twice. Don’t stop brushing until you’re finished.
Clean Your Tongue Too
While a lot of people excel at removing plaque from their teeth and gums, this sticky film of bacteria can re-deposit back onto those areas from your tongue unless you clean it every day. Invest in a tongue scraper. You can pick these up cheaply at most drugstores. Alternatively, you can use your toothbrush. Run the brush or scraper along your tongue from back to front every day.
Floss Both Sides of Your Teeth
Usually, when people floss, they only pull the string to either the left or the right. This results in plaque still remaining on at least one surface of your teeth. The truth is you should pull the floss to both sides for a more efficient clean.
Use Fluoridated Products
Fluoride may have a controversial reputation in some online circles, but as most dentists will tell you, it’s massively beneficial for your oral health. This naturally occurring mineral strengthens your teeth, making them less susceptible to cavities. The next time you trek to the store or order groceries online, look for toothpaste and mouthwash that contain fluoride.
Water is essential for your health, but many people choose to drink other beverages like coffee, tea, soda, and energy drinks instead. Tea and coffee stain your teeth, while other drinks contain high amounts of sugar that contribute to cavities and gum disease. To improve your oral health, sip on water as an alternative. It rinses leftover food particles out of your mouth, fighting bad breath. In addition, tap water is often fortified with fluoride, giving your teeth an extra boost of cavity protection.
Wait Before You Brush
While you should definitely brush after you eat, it’s advisable to wait at least half an hour. Why? When you consume something sugary or acidic, your teeth become temporarily softened. The force of brushing can actually weaken your enamel, leading to sensitivity. Waiting 30 minutes allows your saliva to restore your enamel to its full strength.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your teeth and gums stay in great shape throughout this pandemic. Although your dentist is closed for regular activities like cleanings, they are still open for treating dental emergencies. If you think you may have one, contact your dentist immediately.
About the Author
Dr. Philip Lisk has been a North Raleigh dentist since he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry in 1997. He is also an alumnus of the prestigious Dawson Center for Advanced Dental Studies. Due to COVID-19, his practice is only treating dental emergencies. If you find yourself with a sudden toothache or broken tooth, don’t be afraid to contact Dr. Lisk at (919) 870-6892.
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