3 Ways to Maintain Oral Health at Home During COVID-19

New York, NY

The gravity of the last several weeks has been surreal. No words give justice to what we’ve all been going though. We are grateful for the news of each recovery and mourning with those who have lost loved ones. Thank you to those who are donating serum. The implications of this pandemic for NYC and our surrounding communities are huge.

Every one of us is experiencing a change in our routines, expectations, and daily activities. At times, our lives seem to be spiraling. What is still within our control? We at Herald Square Dental & The Denture Center want to encourage you to take care of your oral health. This is one thing you can do while sheltering in place.

Easier said than done, you may be thinking. Of course. Everything is right now. But as we adjust to this current situation, oral health is one what can so easily fall by the wayside if we are not careful. Here’s what we recommend you do to avoid a mouth full of cavities when we are able to end this time of isolation and lack of regular dental office hours.

Think long term.

This pandemic will not go on forever. No matter what it may feel like right now, remind yourself that social distancing will eventually be a thing of the past, and when you’re up in your colleague’s space, your breath and the state of your teeth will matter. What you do now, or fail to do, will have an impact on your future. Brush now for a brighter tomorrow. When this virus is in the rearview mirror, you’ll be glad you did.

Create a new daily routine.

Now that we no longer need to get fully dressed as we work from home or eat breakfast before leaving for work, forgetting to brush our teeth until late afternoon happens to the best of us. By that hour, we wonder if it’s worth it since evening seems right around the corner. It’s worth it. But a morning brush is even better. So, figure out what works for you. Plan to brush right after that first cup of coffee or first thing as you return from your morning walk. Schedule it into your new morning routine. Set a reminder on your phone if you need to.

Take inventory of what you eat and drink.

Studies have shown that the consumption of comfort foods, snacks, and alcoholic beverages is on the rise as we cope during these prolonged periods of constant family togetherness and isolation. Bottom line: our new normal is anything but normal, so we are aching for some variety of comfort. But it’s no secret that sugary and acidic food and drink can destroy enamel and wreak havoc on teeth. So, limit your intake. Drinking lots of water to prevent erosion and to wash away potential cavity-causing bacteria is a helpful hack when you do partake.

Here’s a reminder of what we all should be doing to maintain optimal dental health, with or without the crisis of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands: We have all heard this a hundred times, but 20 seconds before and after any personal dental care should be standard always.
  • Brush twice a day: Even when (especially when) your schedule is less than ideal, brush morning and night.
  • Floss once a day: If this hasn’t yet become your habit, make it one now. Floss while you read before bed or watch your evening show.
  • Eat healthy: Sticky, sugary snacks and drinks can take down a smile in the time it takes us to put an end to the Coronavirus. Don’t let them.
  • Limit snacking: This will benefit your waistband as much as your teeth.
  • Drink plenty of water: Drinking half your body weight in ounces is ideal for your overall health, and water serves as a natural cleanser for your teeth.
  • Avoid smoking: Did you know smoking is bad for your oral health? It limits blood flow to your mouth, making it easier for bacteria to grow.

Excellent oral health doesn’t just happen. And what we need to do to maintain it isn’t rocket science. But routine is essential. If you’re struggling emotionally or fighting psychological fatigue, take one day at a time. One project at a time. Make oral hygiene be your focus today.

Drs. Pasch, Yam, Shirzadnia, and Xu and our entire team at Herald Square Dental & The Denture Center have missed seeing you, and we plan to reschedule your appointments at the soonest possible opportunity. We will continue to see those who are faced with a dental emergency and need urgent care by appointment only.