The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to many dentists closing their doors for regular six-month preventive appointments. Many dental offices in Lakewood and elsewhere in the US are only seeing patients with dental emergencies.
This has many people wondering how they can keep their smiles healthy during the months when they won’t be able to see a dentist. The team at Lakewood Smiles will go over a few basic tips you can follow to ensure your smile stays healthy until you can get back to our office for a six-month teeth cleaning and oral exam!
1. Start With Proper Brushing And Flossing
The most important thing you can do to keep your smile healthy is maintain a proper oral hygiene routine. You should brush at least twice a day for two minutes. Brush once in the morning, and once in the evening. You may even want to consider brushing three times a day after breakfast, lunch, and dinner to ensure your mouth is as clean as possible.
Flossing once a day is also important. Brushing alone only removes bacteria and plaque from about 60% of the surface of your teeth. Make sure you floss once per day to keep your gums and teeth healthy, and consider rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash after you floss to maximize the effectiveness of flossing.
2. Maintain A Tooth-Healthy Diet
Our rule of thumb is this. Foods that are healthy for your body are also healthy for your teeth. Healthy, unprocessed foods like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and most types of dairy are good for your body and also help minimize plaque and bacteria buildup on your teeth.
In contrast, you will want to avoid “junk” foods that are highly-processed and high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, like potato chips, candy, desserts, and so on. The bacteria in your mouth love sugar and starch, so eating these foods in excessive amounts can contribute to gum disease and tooth decay.
3. Watch What You Chew (And Where You Chew It)
Beyond simply maintaining a tooth-healthy diet, you may also want to pay a little bit more attention to how you’re chewing your food. For example, you should avoid biting into extremely hard and crunchy foods with your front teeth, as they could be chipped or damaged. Chew hard foods like ice and almonds with your molars, which are much stronger and more durable.
You should also avoid eating a lot of gummy or sticky candies if you have multiple fillings or crowns. Foods like taffy, caramel, toffee, and other extremely sticky foods can all pull out your dental work if it’s loose.
Additionally, don’t use your teeth to chew any non-food objects like pens, pencils, or your fingernails. This could cause premature wear & tear or breakage of your teeth. You also should never use your teeth as “tools” to tear tape or open packages. Your teeth are meant to chew food. Using them for other purposes could damage them.
Follow These Tips To Keep Your Teeth Healthy And Strong
If you take proper care of your teeth and gums, eat a healthy diet, and avoid doing things that could damage your teeth, your smile is sure to remain strong until you can see the dentist again. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment at Lakewood Smiles with Dr. Nancy William or Dr. Abraam Girgis whenever you can! Contact us at (562) 866-0406 to get started.