The pandemic is never far from our minds and it has brought to light many issues, including the vulnerability of those who have chronic health conditions. COVID-19 has also highlighted the importance of maintaining personal hygiene and mental health. But, that’s not all. The people affected with COVID-19 need to be extra careful when it comes to their teeth. Why are we putting stress on maintaining good oral health during the pandemic? That is because oral hygiene impacts overall health.
COVID-19 and oral care
The populations that are at risk for developing many chronic illnesses are similar to those who have a high probability of developing dental diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Some of the risk factors these two groups share are poverty, alcohol use, an unbalanced eating plan, smoking, and misuse of alcohol and substances.
Furthermore, those who are put in the hospital for COVID-19 may have other existing conditions. Two of the most common ones are diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and gum disease has a strong link with both diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CDC).
Not only that but the coronavirus pandemic impacts mental health and oral health diseases have a strong connection with stress, depression, anxiety, and loneliness, as per a recent review published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.
Finally, many people have fears about going to the dentist’s office during the pandemic, putting oral health at risk. The worry is that interactions with the dentist could spread the virus.
However, you can call the office ahead of time to make sure the staff all follow the safety guidelines, practice physical distancing, and wear personal protective equipment (PPE). A good dental practice will be happy to answer your questions and explain how they are taking steps to protect your health.
Why is maintaining a healthy mouth important?
Your oral health says a lot about your overall health. Did you know that any problem that begins in the mouth can affect the whole body?
When a dentist examines your teeth during an appointment, this professional looks around your whole mouth. They examine your gums, tongue, the roof of the mouth, and inner cheeks. All of this is part of looking for any health issues that might show up first in the mouth.
They might see a symptom of high blood pressure, for example, or a deficiency in the body, such as anemia. Moreover, your mouth is the gateway of the respiratory system, so the bacteria going inside through your mouth can harm you.
Therefore, taking proper care of your teeth will prevent you from tooth decay, bad breath, and other dental diseases. Seeing a problem in your mouth can also warn your dentist that there is an underlying health condition to tell you about right away.
Also, having gum disease can lead to many serious issues such as heart attack, stroke, or poorly controlled diabetes. You do not want to suffer from these things, obviously, so putting in the work now to care for your mouth makes sense. Yes, oral health during the pandemic is something to pay attention to moving forward.
A final point to mention is that a healthy mouth enhances the beauty of your face. That’s not to say that you’re being vain by caring how your teeth look but instead that you want to look your best and make a good first impression.
So, how to keep your teeth healthy, especially during the pandemic?
Two tips for better oral health
1. Brush twice a day
Brushing your teeth twice a day will help prevent many oral diseases. The main objective of it is plaque control.
I started using an electric toothbrush, rather than a manual one, a few years ago. When I did so, I noticed better results at the dentist on the next visits. It was my dentist that suggested I make the switch for a more thorough cleaning at home to care for my oral health before the pandemic and continue to do so during it.
According to the experts at Bluestonehillsdentistry.com, it is advisable to brush with an ADA (American Dental Association) approved toothpaste two times a day and for two minutes at a time. Also, don’t forget to floss once a day as another step in keeping your mouth healthy.
2. What you eat holds paramount importance
You’re busy with work, school, family responsibilities, and worries about the coronavirus. There is a big list. It easily becomes a bad habit to munch on whatever is conveniently available nearby, including sugary snacks, starchy food, and soft drinks.
Unfortunately, sugar creates acid in our mouth, which dissolves tooth surfaces and leads to cavities. The more your teeth are exposed to these acids, the weaker your mouth can become over time.
Therefore, your diet has a direct impact on your oral health. If you are having sugary foods, drink lots of water. Doing so will rinse the particles from the mouth and dilute the sugar.
Remember to opt for healthy eating options, too, when possible. Make that a new habit while cooking and baking at home during and after the pandemic.
Wrapping up on oral health during the pandemic
Consult your dentist if you notice any issues in your mouth. Many dental care centers are providing all the necessary facilities with proper precautions at this time.
Keeping up good dental health is a significant part of your overall health. So, please do not compromise it.
20 thoughts on “Oral health during the pandemic: More important than ever”
It is important to keep up wiith healthy dental habits all of the time. As you mentioned, problems with our teeth can affect other parts of our bodies. Our dentists take all necessary precautions for the safety of everyone.
Your support here is appreciated, Peggy!
Thank you for these good advices, Christy! Looking on our health conditions these times is very important. This will for sure not the last pandemic we will have. Please stay save! Michael
Thank you, Michael. All the best to you and family
Thank you, Christy! To you and yours as well! We are counting the days to get the vaccine. ;-) Michael
Wonderful! We look forward to getting ours soon too.
Good post. During this pandemic, I bet most people forgot all about oral health.
The one good thing about it, with everyone weraing masks, we didn’t have to deal
with people’s bad breath.
Have a great day.
Your comment about bad breath made me laugh!
Don’t think the mask masks poor orally hygiene during the pandemic!
My husband and daughter have both visited their dentists during the pandemic. I think mine has fallen off the face of the earth. I was supposed to have a recall appointment last April and I haven’t heard from them. I hope my brushing and flossing is doing the job. LOL
I hope you are able to touch base with your dentist soon, Michelle.
An important reminder, well made points. I wish no one has to rush to the dentists, for dental issues, especially till this difficult time is over. Oral care is important indeed.
Thank you for sharing.
I agree with you about hoping there are fewer dental issues right now. Thanks for being here!
A fantastic post to remind us just how important oral health is. Gum disease, and the links to diabetes & cardiovascular disease that you mention here, is a worrying one. I’ve had issues the past few years because of, I imagine, suspected Sjogrens (and my sweet treat addiction). Weakened enamel, tooth chipping and inflamed gums have made me all the more aware of the importance of using good toothpaste, and adding in regular interdental stick/flossing to my oral health routines. I’ve always been good with brushing twice a day, but sometimes it takes a bit more than that. Without many of us getting regular dental check ups or getting necessary work done during the pandemic, I can imagine more dental problems flaring up in the near future. xx
I’m imagining the dentists will be busy in the upcoming years with those people who haven’t been going regularly. Sorry to hear about your dental issues, Caz. I want only the best for you!! x
This is nice. Dental hygiene especially when one has to wear the mask always 😷. ☹️
I think the mask will be part of our lives for a while
Yeah, I think so too. Nice 👍