Last month, the ADA made an official statement that recommended that each dentist solely provide emergency dental services and postpone all elective treatments, including preventive and cosmetic care. During these uncertain times, you’re likely feeling stressed or anxious, making it even more difficult to look after your oral health than before. Here are five oral hygiene practices that will help reduce your risk of contracting any type of illness.
Making Supplies Last to Limit Your Outings
One of the few establishments that are still open across the country are grocery stores. Consequently, this means that they’re also some of the busiest places at the moment, which also means that they’re good to frequent as little as possible. One way to do this is to conserve your oral hygiene products. Many people don’t know that they only need a pea-sized dab or toothpaste to thoroughly clean their mouth, or an 18 inch of dental floss. When you don’t overuse these products, not only does it mean there’s more for everybody else, but it also keeps you from needing to visit your local department store regularly.
Washing Your Hands Before You Brush
If you complete your dental hygiene routine in the morning and at night, like most people do, then you may not pay attention to whether you wash your hands before you brush and floss. Many people don’t think of doing this because they’re in the comfort of their own home and either haven’t touched anything since they woke up, or have been washing their hands all day up until they get home and feel as though they’re clean. Washing your hands can prevent the migration of germs and viruses from your toothbrush handle to your mouth, where they are commonly transmitted.
Disinfecting Your Toothbrush
Similarly to the tips listed above, you’ll need to disinfect your brush to prevent viruses and germs from living on your toothbrush handle or bristles. You can do this by boiling your toothbrush in water for five minutes. You can also frequently disinfect the handle of your toothbrush by wiping it down with a Clorox or other disinfectant wipe throughout the week.
Cleaning Your Toothbrush Holder
Did you know that one of the dirtiest objects in households across the country are toothbrush holders? They’re the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to grow and thrive in because they’re typically wet, undisturbed, and dark. Many people forget to check the bottom of their holders, so when they do, they see a small pool of bacteria in the bottom, which their toothbrush handles have been touching this entire time! Be sure to run the holder through a dishwasher or soak it in a disinfectant and hot water and wash it out.
Even though your dentist is closed for all preventive treatments, you can still take great care of your smile at home in the meantime. In addition, by following these four tips listed above, you’ll be able to care for your physical health and ward off any illnesses. In these uncertain times, peace-of-mind that you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy is completely priceless!
About the Author
Dr. Haren Patel has been a dentist for over 15 years and takes pride in helping his patients feel comfortable and healthy by providing them with high-quality treatments. His lifelong dream was to open up his own practice where he could help his community, which is why he called his practice “Dream Dental”. He enjoys caring for patients of all ages and offers comprehensive dental care of a high caliber. For questions or to schedule an appointment, visit Dream Dental’s website or call 770-592-7000.