With all of the uncertainty in the world today, we understand that your oral health may not be the first thing on your mind. But even though we’re temporarily postponing all elective dental procedures, your dentist in Rochester wants you to know that we’re still thinking about you and your oral health. We’re here for you during this tough time and want to help any way we can, which is why we’ve compiled a guide of oral health dos and don’ts that can help keep your teeth, gums, and entire mouth healthy until we can see you again.
Up First: The Dos
We like leading with the positive so let’s first focus on what you should do to protect your teeth during your at-home oral hygiene routine.
- Brush & Floss – The benefits of regularly brushing and flossing your teeth are undeniable, and you should continue to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day (even if you’re not leaving the house). Cleaning your teeth and removing debris from between them goes a long way in keeping your breath fresh and eliminating bacteria.
- Replace Your Toothbrush – Your toothbrush needs to be in good condition to do its job effectively. For this reason, your dentist in Rochester recommends replacing your toothbrush at least every 3-4 months or as soon as you notice the bristles starting to fray. You should also get a new toothbrush if you get sick.
- Store Your Toothbrush Correctly – Believe it or not, there is a right way to store your toothbrush — upright and uncovered.
- Wash Your Hands – This advice is everywhere today and one that we wholeheartedly agree with. Washing your hands several times a day helps reduce the risk of getting sick. You should also wash your hands prior to brushing your teeth or flossing.
- Disinfect Your Toothbrush – A recent study found that 0.5% hydrogen peroxide effectively reduces coronavirus infectivity. To make this solution:
- Mix 1 fl oz of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 5 fl oz of water
- Soak your toothbrush in the mixture for 10 minutes. Dump out the mixture.
- Rinse your toothbrush prior to brushing.
Now: The Don’ts
Just like there are things you should do to protect your oral health, there are also things that you should avoid if at all possible.
- Don’t Share Your Toothbrush – Your toothbrush is yours and yours alone. Don’t share it with anyone, including other family members. Doing so can easily transfer bodily fluids from you to them or from them to you.
- Don’t Allow Family Brushes to Touch – Similarly to the above, you shouldn’t allow family members’ toothbrushes to touch while being stored. Make sure they’re kept a few inches away from each other.
- Don’t Bite Your Nails – Millions of Americans bite their nails, but now may be a good time to work on breaking that habit. Not only does nail biting easily spread bacteria from whatever may be lurking under our fingernails to our mouths, but it can also damage teeth.
As of the publishing date, the American Dental Association (ADA) has recommended the postponement of any preventive or routine dental care for three weeks. During this time, your dentist in Rochester wants to encourage you to do everything you can to take care of your smile, including following the tips above. Stay healthy, and we hope to see you soon.