May 21, 2020
COVID-19 has changed virtually every aspect of our lives in the span of a few short months. Those changes include how your dentist in Falls Church operates. For the time being, most dentists are only seeing emergency patients on an as-needed basis. This means that your regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings are effectively postponed indefinitely. In the meantime, here are some tips to keep up with your oral hygiene during the quarantine until your dentist can see you again for a cleaning.
Use the Right Technique to Brush Your Teeth
Many of us brush our teeth at least once a day, but are unaware of the proper way to do it. Make sure that you:
- Brush first thing in the morning and last thing before bed
- Brush for two minutes at a time
- Use a very gentle pressure; brushing with too much force can actually damage your teeth and gums
- Use a toothpaste with fluoride since it strengthens your teeth and helps to prevent cavities
- Remember to brush the backs of your teeth in addition to the fronts and chewing surfaces
Floss Every Night Before Bed
Your toothbrush alone is only capable of cleaning about three-fifths of the surfaces of your teeth. Fortunately, flossing can easily take care of the rest. Ideally, you should floss right before bed. If you don’t, then bits of food remain between your teeth all night long. This gives bacteria in your mouth plenty of time to feed on these food particles, leaving behind a destructive and foul-smelling waste product that contributes to morning breath, tooth decay, and gum disease.
When you floss, be sure to:
- Avoid snapping the string against your gums
- Use a string about a foot and a half long, switching to a new section for each tooth
- Clean both sides of each tooth, instead of simply snapping the floss between the teeth and rapidly pulling it out
Add Mouthwash to Your Routine
Most people remember to brush and floss, but aren’t aware that rinsing with mouthwash comes with a whole host of oral health benefits. Mouthwash can clean areas of your mouth, like your soft tissues, that your toothbrush and floss just can’t reach.
It should ne noted, though, that not all mouthwashes are the same. Some of them come with different benefits than others. For example, some mouth rinses are designed to fight plaque or gingivitis, while others are meant to whiten your teeth or freshen your breath. However, make sure that you do not, under any circumstances, purchase a mouthwash that contains alcohol. Alcohol causes dry mouth, which increases your risk of oral health problems like gum disease, cavities, and bad breath.
Once this whole pandemic slows down, it should be safe for your dentist in Falls Church to open back up again for non-urgent procedures like cleanings. In the meantime, why not go ahead and schedule your next appointment now so you don’t have to worry about it later?
About the Author
Dr. Sanae Berrada has more than 20 years of experience in the dental field. Her professional memberships include the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, and the International Congress of Oral Implantologists. Due to COVID-19, her practice is only treating patients with dental emergencies. If you think you may have one, or if you wish to book your next checkup for when they reopen, contact Dr. Berrada at (703) 821-8111.
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