Seeing your family dentist in Salt Lake City twice yearly can help detect early indications of health issues such as gingivitis, cavities, and even diabetes. But because of the Coronavirus pandemic, it’s understandable that you may not be able to see your family dentist as frequently as you would like. Fortunately, proper oral health care begins at home.
Easy Dental Hygiene Tips at Home
The main goal of at-home care is to eliminate plaque that clings to the teeth. This clear film is composed of bacteria that produce acid whenever you drink or eat. Over time, this acid could break down the teeth enamel and result in cavities.
When left unaddressed, the acid could get into the gum line and cause gingivitis or gum infection. Plaque buildup can also turn into calculus or tartar, which only your dentist can remove. To prevent these ill effects and keep your oral health in check, consider these easy at-home dental care tips:
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Use a regular toothbrush with soft bristles and make sure to brush for at least two minutes. If you have younger kids, guide them on how to brush their teeth properly.
- Ensure you’re getting enough fluoride. You can do this by using fluoride toothpaste and drinking tap water.
- Floss your teeth at least once daily. You can use standard string floss, a water flosser, or a floss pick.
- Replace your toothbrush at least every three to four months or sooner when you see the bristles fraying.
- If you’re sick, the risk of reinfection is unlikely, so you don’t have to change your toothbrush. Just don’t share it with anyone and keep it away from other toothbrushes.
- Use mouthwash. Pick one with antiseptic or therapeutic ingredients to help control bad breath and keep tooth decay, germs, and plaque at bay.
- If you are prone to dry mouth, consider chewing sugar-free gum to promote saliva production. Keep in mind that a wet mouth helps safeguard against gum disease and cavities.
- Reduce your intake of sugary and starchy drinks and foods.
- To further protect your gums and teeth, you should also stop using tobacco products and manage health problems such as diabetes.
When to See Your Family Dentist
Particular oral health care issues that are known as dental emergencies need immediate help from your family dentist. Contact your dentist if you or a family member is experiencing:
- Persistent bleeding
- Severe swelling or pain around or in the mouth
- Infection symptoms such as pain, redness, tenderness, and swelling
- A broken tooth or any kind of dental restoration
- Anything that you feel requires an examination by your dentist
But make sure to call the dentist’s office first to check their COVID-19 infection and safety guidelines. Also, ensure that you don’t have any coronavirus symptoms and bring your personal protective equipment with you.
The Coronavirus pandemic has led to delays in professional oral care for a lot of families. But taking the time to practice proper oral hygiene habits at home is an excellent way to help safeguard you and your family’s oral health during these trying times.