Maintaining Healthy Teeth At Home During COVID-19

The whole world is fighting Covid-19. This is indeed a difficult and challenging time for us all. With business closures, job losses and social distancing, we have all been affected in some way.

To help prevent the spread of Covid-19 the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) have recommended that all Australian dental practitioners follow guidelines set by the Australian Dental Association (ADA). Dental restrictive practice has been downgraded from level 3 to level 2 effective 27th of April 2020. Under level 2 restrictions, we can only provide dental treatments that are unlikely to generate aerosols, or where aerosols are generated, we must use a rubber dam during the procedure. We are now able to perform examinations, relief of pain treatments and restorative procedures under rubber dam. Unfortunately, until we are on level 1, we cannot provide you with a thorough Ultrasonic clean.

This means that home care is more important than ever! We need you, our lovely patients to be taking extra care of your precious teeth until we can assist you with a thorough dental clean. The good news is that you can slow down or even prevent the build-up of tartar on your teeth by following the advice below.

  • Continue to Maintain an Excellent Oral Hygiene Routine

Do not let social distancing and working from home be an excuse to skip your oral hygiene routine! Make sure to brush thoroughly, for 2 minutes twice a day. Have a good brushing technique. Be certain that you brush all surfaces, of all your teeth. Be systematic and ensure you are not missing the insides, outsides or biting surfaces of any of your teeth. Use a gentle circular motion when brushing and always use a soft bristled toothbrush. Be sure to also use a fluoridated toothpaste.

FLOSS! It works! There really is not any other way to remove food debris and plaque from between your teeth. Brushing alone will not clean the spaces between your teeth. Regular flossing will protect your teeth against decay and reduces the build-up of soft plaque and tartar. Hence reducing the likelihood of gingivitis. For most people flossing only at night is enough. For those prone to gum disease it is recommended to floss morning and night. Floss sticks or interdental brushes are great little products for those who find manual flossing tricky. Have a go though. Any flossing is better than none!

  • Stay Hydrated

Saliva is a major protector against tooth decay. Every time you eat, bacteria in your mouth produce an acid that can cause tooth decay. Your saliva is especially important in buffering the acid away. If you are dehydrated, your saliva will struggle to perform its job. Ensure you are drinking plenty of water to reduce your decay risk. Also, be aware of what other drinks you are consuming throughout the day. Avoid sugary or acidic drinks as much as possible. Remember that every time you consume something sugary, even if it is just a sip, your saliva is fighting a battle against the acid. You are better off consuming that sugary drink in one hit, then sipping at it for an hour.

  • Watch Your Diet!

This may be especially tricky when staying at home. Boredom certainly makes for more frequent snacking! Your teeth will be thankful if you can avoid sugary snacks like lollies or biscuits though. Remember that every time you eat something sweet, you are making work for your saliva to buffer away the acid.  Try to focus on eating fresh vegetables, cheese, or proteins instead.

  • Finally, know that we are here if you need us!

Dental Care on Pulteney is open, and we can help you with your dental needs. Give us a call and our friendly reception staff are available to answer any questions and they can book you with one of our lovely dentists if need be.

Please take care of yourselves during these difficult times. The staff at Dental Care on Pulteney wish all our patients all the best. Hopefully, this madness will end soon and we will be back to business as usual, in the meantime, please take care.

Dr Khuong Pho