How To Look After Your Teeth And Oral Hygiene During COVID-19 Lockdown

The constant lockdown’s have caused many of us to have a different daily routine but that shouldn’t mean we ignore our teeth and dental hygiene, especially when our regular 6 month check-up and cleans are having to constantly be delayed due to the restrictions put on dental clinics. To help ensure we are able to look after our teeth and keep up our oral hygiene, the Smile Place Dental team have put together a few tips below.

It’s vital we take care of ourselves at the moment and this includes our oral hygiene. So while we might all be tempted to skip a step or two in our daily routines, it’s important to remember that regular and thorough tooth brushing along with flossing is going to help prevent gum disease and tooth decay, allowing us to keep our teeth healthy for as long as possible.

DIET

Along with maintaining good oral hygiene it’s important to watch what we eat and drink. We may be spending more time at home and therefore snacking more than usual, particularly on sugary foods and drinks. Try avoiding or at least limiting these sugary foods and drinks and if you do indulge make sure to drink plain water to rinse your teeth off. Also, avoid brushing your teeth for 30-40 minutes after snacking to avoid the acid you have created from softening your enamel, and therefore preventing damage when brushing.

ALCOHOL

Alcohol consumption has also increased during lockdown, so how does this impact your teeth?

Unfortunately, the impact of too much alcohol can have major effects on the health of your teeth as alcohol is corrosive, causing harm to the enamel on your teeth. This means it can destroy the essential substance that protects your teeth and can lead to severe symptoms such as tooth sensitivity, tooth discolouration and even an increased risk of tooth decay. Like anything, moderation is key.

STRESS

For many, the past year with the constant weeks and months we are going in and out of lockdowns have been a stressful period in many ways. Stress can lead to tooth grinding or clenching which can then lead to headaches and toothaches along with cracked and broken teeth, a sore jaw and sensitivity. This is an involuntary occurrence called Bruxism that most people will get from time to time and some more regularly. Those who clench and grind when stressed may find it helpful to try some relaxation techniques, exercise regularly or stress management therapy. There is also a splint that can be custom made by your dentist to help keep the teeth apart, so you wear down the splint and not your natural tooth structure. We are open to see you for any urgent appointments which includes making a splint caused from grinding.

DAILY ROUTINE

Ultimately, we need to try and stick to our daily oral hygiene routine as taking care of your teeth every day will help keep your teeth and gums healthy. By following these five simple steps, you will be able to keep on top of a healthy cleaning routine for your teeth and gums:

  1. Brush regularly but not aggressively. Brushing too hard will cause damage to the enamel and gums.
  2. Use fluoride as this can help prevent cavities. It is a common ingredient in most toothpaste and mouth washes.
  3. Floss daily. This will help remove any plaque and bacteria build up from between the teeth where a toothbrush may not be able to reach.
  4. Avoid smoking. Smoking can be a big risk factor for gum disease. It can also cause discolouration to your teeth and tongue and can give you bad breath.
  5. Limit sugary foods. Limiting your intake of sugary foods and drinks is advisable due to the fact that too much sugar will cause cavities.

SMILE PLACE DENTAL

It is important to note that due to the restrictions put on Dental Clinics across Melbourne, we are limited to only seeing patients who are in pain, with urgent needs or care where failure to do so in a clinically appropriate timeframe will lead to adverse outcomes. We are having to move or delay all General Check-up and Cleans, that are not classified as urgent care.

Keep up the good work with good eating habits and oral hygiene at home and if you are uncertain if you can or need to be seen for a matter of concern, please give us a call at any of our three clinics. Our staff will be here to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Take care everyone and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

To find out more information, please call us at one of our clinics on (03) 9048 1026 Glen Iris, (03) 9745 2148 Tecoma or (03) 9877 3724 Forest Hill.