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Reality Check! Your dentist’s office is probably now closed, except for emergencies. So, what to do about your teeth?

The probability of getting a dental appointment for a cleaning and a checkup is practically nil right now. The American Dental Association has issued a recommendation that all dental practices close down, except for emergency care.

Whatever kind of neglect you normally subject your teeth to,if any, like skipping brushing or flossing, this neglect should cease and desist! We just don’t know how long restrictions will last, so as far as taking care of your teeth is concerned, you’re on your own for an indefinite period, and you’ve got to do it right.

The last thing you want to do is have to make an emergency visit a dentist’s office, risking exposure to COVID-19.  That’s why it is vital you take the utmost care of your teeth during this difficult period. Here are some important tips in order to maintain your dental health, and prevent contracting or spreading the virus.

Brush, Floss, Rinse … and Do It Again! – Now is definitely not the time to skip out on the simple stuff like brushing, flossing and rinsing your mouth. Tooth decay is not what you want when there are no dentists around.  Want to know how to brush and floss your teeth properly? Check out this simple video from eHow

Wash Hands Before Brushing Teeth! – Lest we forget, touching your face or putting you fingers in your mouth is verboten right now, Remember this viral clip (Reuters)?

So as it relates to your teeth, before you brush, wash your hands thoroughly to prevent contaminants from accidentally getting into your mouth. Want to know how to wash your hands like a pro? Watch this video from the World Health Organization!

Disinfect Your Toothbrush Every Week! – Bacteria can actually cause gum disease and other issues, so it’s important to remove whatever germs you can from your trusty toothbrush. How to keep your toothbrush germ-free?  Watch this nifty video from the folks at Clean Freak & Germaphobe.

Keep Your Toothbrush Holders Clean! – Toothbrush holders can be just as dangerous as a dirty toothbrush, (you just don’t put them in your mouth). So clean and disinfect them often.  Rinse under hot water and remove any particles sticking to them. As a second step, you can run the holder through your dishwasher.  And as mentioned in the video above, don’t store your toothbrush in dark or moist places, and keep them away from where people might sneeze or cough.

Do Not Share Toothpaste, Toothbrush (obviously) or Floss! –  Sharing tweets, photos and posts is one thing, but sharing you tooth-cleaning implements is a definite no-no. These items could silently transmit coronavirus to other people in your household, especially if one of you is a carrier but not showing symptoms.

Keep Shared Electronic Implements Clean! – Tools like electronic toothbrushes can retain germs from your mouth and hands. Make sure to fully clean the handle portion before passing it on to another household member. An even better idea is to cover the handle with some kind of plastic bag, and dispose of it when done.

Replace Toothbrush If You Get Sick! – Wipe the slate clean when you get over being sick.  Just get rid of your toothbrush, to prevent reinfecting yourself or exposing others to germs that caused your illness.

Social Distance When Cleaning Your Teeth! – Psst…You don’t want germs spraying on people when you’re brushing and flossing.  Keep folks away from you (at least six feet or behind a door) until you’re done.  Thank you!

Protect Your Children from Infection – Use the right procedures, mentioned above, as you help your children brush their teeth.  Most importantly, wash your hands and your child’s hands before brushing. Monitor the cleanliness of their toothbrushes, as well as your own.

Use Denture Infection Control Practices! – Various solutions and methods are commonly used to clean dentures, from bleach to vinegar to baking soda and commercial tablets. When in doubt, ask the dentist who fitted your dentures – they would know what would be best for the materials that make up your appliance. The main thing, though, is that you keep to the recommended cleaning schedule and method, and not slack off in this crucial period where germs can do more than make you sick.

You And Your Dentist … Protective Together! – During the pandemic, staying healthy will help guarantee you’ll be seen by your dentist in the event of a dental emergency –  but honesty matters, too! If you feel sick, if you have traveled to an especially infected area of the world recently, or have been exposed to another person you know is sick with the virus, fess up to your dentist and arrange to reschedule.  If you do go, wash your hands before your dental visit and remain socially distanced and clean during your trip there.  Your dentist and staff are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 – please do your part.

Well, there you have – ways to protect your teeth and your health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please take heed, do your own research and follow recommendations of your local authorities.

We want you to stay healthy and safe!

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