The Covid-19 pandemic has brought disruption to everyday life. Pandemic forces us to sit all day at home and during this time, we unintentionally keep binging on whatever is easily available to us; be it chocolates, chivda, sandwiches, biscuits,(junk food) etc. Eventually creating cavities in our teeth and on top of that there is no dental treatment available.
Also, much importance is given to keeping your hands clean, however keeping your mouth clean is also equally important as the novel Coronavirus (SARS COV-2) is said to be transmitted through droplets or aerosols from the mouth. Saliva contains discharge from nasopharynx and lungs where this virus colonizes, thus keeping the mouth clean can prevent its spread.
So let me put some quick and easy tips that you can follow to keep your mouth healthy.
Brushing: At least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste is very important. Brushing should be done at least for 2 minutes so as to ensure all the tooth surfaces are cleaned. Never share your toothbrush.
Method of brushing: Use of soft bristles toothbrush is recommended. If your teeth are sensitive then use ultra-soft bristles. Toothpaste used should be pea size only. Hold your brush angulated i.e . half on gums and half on your teeth, only 2-3 teeth at a time with small circular motions , proceed in this similar way throughout on the outer surface . The biting surface is normal to and fro motions , the inner surface of the teeth is upper teeth in downward motion and lower teeth in upward motion gently scrub your teeth , for the anterior teeth inside part brushing is done by holding the brush vertically upright and using the same direction .
Change your toothbrush every 2-3months: Else it does not clean your teeth at all. The dental plaque stays on the tooth surfaces eventually causing cavities. Also, it attracts a lot of bacteria which worsens your oral health. A person who has recently recovered from Covid-19 should immediately change their toothbrush.
Clean your tongue regularly: With tongue cleaner or serrations present at the back of your brushing surface of your toothbrush. This is where bacteria thrive and thus the bad breath.
Flossing: Flossing regularly will prevent cavity formation; either you get thread like waxed floss which you have to use it between your fingers and then floss , if you feel it’s difficult for you to do flossing using hands then floss with handles are also available …this is very easy to use . Initially while flossing, your gums might bleed but not to worry, once you practice, it will be fine.
Use antiseptic mouthwash: Containing sodium fluoride, peroxide, to help prevent bad breath. Use Chlorhexidine Gluconate Mouthwash; 10ml concentrated, squish in mouth for 30 sec to 60 sec helps kill the virus because of its ability to disrupt the outer lipid layer of the virus within 30sec, thereby killing the virus and thus help in reducing the transmission.
Stay hydrated: Drinking minimum 8-10 glasses of water is a must. But now since we are wearing masks we tend to have more dryness of the mouth so increase water intake. It will help flush all food particles and bacteria by increasing the salivary flow. Saliva is a protective fluid that helps your mouth maintain neutral pH , thereby washing away food particles, bacteria, it also contains many minerals like calcium, phosphorus, etc that protects the teeth and thus lowering the risk of decay.
Avoid smoking and tobacco chewing: Because of slow immune response amongst the smokers, it causes antibodies to disappear faster.
Eating fruits and vegetables- are self-cleansing due to fibres present in them.
Avoid unhealthy diet and binging on sweet, sticky and hard foods frequently. When you frequently snack on food with high sugar content or processed foods it increases the acidity in your mouth, this acid attacks your tooth/teeth outer surface, enamel and weakens it, eventually causing holes – cavities. So be careful about your intake of sugar and if you want to snack on sweet treats, include them as a part of your main meal, as it will reduce the amount of time your mouth is acidic and the potential damage to your teeth.
If a severe problem persists, consultation over the phone with your dentist is recommended as only emergency dental treatment is possible now.
Mouth is the most common entrance and outlets for droplets that contain the virus (SARS-COV 2). It can spread not only by coughing or sneezing but also by talking, singing, shouting. So keep your mouth and oral tissues healthy and prevent the spread. When you’re outside, avoid touching your face, else it will pose a threat and the virus can enter through mouth, eyes, or nose and then saliva and thus potentially transfer or spread to others.
Stay safe, stay clean, stay healthy.