While you’re practicing social distancing and sheltering in place, it’s important to consider what you’re doing to keep your teeth healthy. With most dental practices closed to regular checkups, your home dental care routine is now more important than ever. Making sure that you’re not spreading germs in the process of taking care of your teeth is crucial to keeping your whole body healthy. Try implementing some of the following tips from your dentist in Brady to protect yourself from germs while cleaning your mouth.
1. Clean Your Toothbrush
While rinsing your toothbrush with water might have been good enough in the past, COVID-19 requires you to take extra steps to prevent the spread of disease. Your toothbrush is covered in the germs that inhabit your mouth, so cleaning it after use is a good idea. Hydrogen peroxide is a great household item you can use to get the job done. Mix one ounce of 3% peroxide with 5 ounces of water. Then, let you brush soak in the solution for ten minutes. Rinse it off with water prior to your next use, and you’re good to go.
It’s also a good idea to replace your toothbrush after you’ve recovered from an illness. That way, you prevent your brush from re-infecting you.
2. Disinfect Your Brushing Area
A lot can happen at the sink you brush your teeth in. It may be the same place where you shave your face, straighten your hair, and wash your hands after using the bathroom. Simply put, you may be moving through it often, bringing with you the germs from other areas in your home. Disinfecting the area at least once a day can reduce the chance of you accidentally spreading these germs or catching someone else’s.
3. Don’t Share Items
Under normal circumstances, we’d say sharing is caring, but doing so is currently a very bad idea. Your hands easily pick up germs, and sharing things like food or clothes can quickly spread them. This is especially true for dental hygiene items. Even with good cleaning procedures, there’s always going to be some germs on things like toothbrushes, mouthwash cups, and tongue scrapers. If you really want to protect your health, don’t share these items.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
One of the ways to prevent serious tooth decay is by making it difficult for harmful bacteria to accumulate in your mouth. Drinking a glass of water between meals helps flush out the leftover bits of food that bacteria feed on. It also stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth, the body’s natural defense against tooth decay and germs. Finally, you should think about drinking tap water specifically if your city adds fluoride to the water. This compound will actually help rebuild the damaged enamel layers of your teeth.
Having healthy teeth and gums is going to make getting through this strange period of time much easier. While it’s impossible to completely contain the spread of germs in your home, these tips will help make it a safer place and preserve your oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Greg Ritchie is passionate about dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association and has been named a “Super Dentist” by Texas Monthly for the past two years. He enjoys educating patients about what they can do to prevent dental problems at home. If you’re concerned that you may have an emergency dental issue, you can reach him through his website or at 830-693-8833.