Can better oral hygiene keep you safe from the coronavirus? We know that COVID-19 is transmitted when infected respiratory droplets come in contact with our face. Since our hands can easily transfer these droplets to our mouth, it’s especially important to keep our smiles clean without accidentally infecting them. Here are seven at-home dental habits from your Plano dentist that can keep your smile healthy and lower your risk of COVID-19.
1.) Wash Your Hands Before Brushing
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention have long said that “regular handwashing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.” Start practicing a dental routine that starts and ends with handwashing.
2.) Help Your Family Keep a Clean Dental Routine
When it comes to staying healthy, everyone needs to do their part:
- Be sure that children are washing their hands before brushing and cleaning off their toothbrushes every time they brush.
- Family members who wear dentures need to wash their hands before removing or replacing them. They should also take the time to disinfect their dental devices daily.
3.) Don’t Share Your Toothbrush or Floss
Sharing dental products is an easy way to share germs. You or the person you’re sharing with can be contagious with COVID-19 without showing symptoms for days, so use your own toothbrush and floss.
4.) Disinfect Your Toothbrush
You can kill off lingering bacteria on your toothbrush by:
- Soaking it in a solution of one part bleach and nine parts water.
- Boiling it for five minutes.
5.) Store Your Toothbrush Properly
Bacteria thrive in warm, dark, damp places, which could be your toothbrush if you store it in a closed cabinet, drawer, or with a cover. Also be sure that your toothbrush isn’t coming in contact with other brushes.
6.) Keep Your Toothbrushing Area Clean
Keeping your surroundings clean is just as important as keeping your toothbrush germ-free:
- Rinse off cups or trays that hold toothbrushes or run them through the dishwasher.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like sink handles, vanities, and countertops.
7.) Replace Your Toothbrush if You Get Sick
To prevent reinfection, you should always throw out an old toothbrush after recovering from a sickness. This is especially important now since so little is known about this coronavirus.
Your oral health plays a significant role in your overall wellbeing, particularly now during the current pandemic. Practice these oral hygiene habits and you can look forward to leaving quarantine with a happy, healthy smile!
About the Author
With over 18 years of experience providing personalized dental care, Dr. Shannon Stokes of Plano, TX truly values the unique needs and goals of each individual patient. The best interests of his patients are always his top priority, especially in these unusual and uncertain times. That’s why he strongly encourages following the recommendations put forth by trusted health experts like the CDC and practicing excellent oral hygiene at home. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact him via his website or at (972) 596-0200.