Oral Hygiene During Coronavirus
You learn simple rules of hygiene when you’re young, and then — the older you get — essentially go on autopilot where implementing them is concerned. But when something as serious as the spread of the coronavirus is at hand, it’s important to revisit the basics.
It’s easy to mindlessly touch your face, but now more than ever — don’t! Keep hands away from all points of entry on the face (eyes, nose and mouth), as that is how the coronavirus and germs can sneak in. Be sure to truly scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, including the backs of your hands and underneath your fingernails. Then be sure each time you wash your face that you are also cleaning inside the start of the nostril. Word of warning: don’t use an irrigating device to clean out your nose and sinuses, as those can actually push the virus or harmful germs further inside.
There are many reasons that good oral health is important, but one particular reason in light of the coronavirus is that gum disease — a result of poor oral hygiene — weakens the immune system. Stay strong with regular brushing and flossing, and consider using a mouth rinse. According to the International Journal of Oral Science, COVID-19 is vulnerable to oxidation, so a mouth rinse containing oxidative agents such as 1% hydrogen peroxide or 0.2% povidone is advised. And although visits to the dentist for the moment are on hold (unless it’s an emergency dental situation), it’s important to keep up on routine cleanings for good oral health. Make plans to schedule a cleaning with your dentist as soon as it’s business as usual again.
While it may seem obvious, institute basic practices like covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve. When in public, stand at least six feet apart from others in an indoor space. Even when outdoors it’s wise to stand at a distance and avoid hand-shaking.
Be mindful generally of social distancing: Our practice, for example, has instituted a policy where clients can stay in their vehicles while waiting for their appointment. We also are offering teledentistry, where you can have a virtual appointment or consultation from the safety of your home on a computer, tablet or phone. Creative measures like this help to keep us all safe during this challenging time. When everyone does their part, we all become part of the solution.
Please do not hesitate to call us at 843-762-9028 with any question or concern about your oral health.
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