Across Canada, dental check-ups have been postponed due to COVID-19, with many dental offices only performing emergency procedures until it is safe to resume business as usual.
Those interested in a dental assisting career understand how important it is to regularly have your teeth properly checked and cleaned by professionals. Fortunately, there are plenty of steps that people can take to take care of their teeth and gums under quarantine. Read on to discover a few of them!
Tip 1: Stick to a Routine Endorsed by Dental Assistants
The simplest way to maintain proper dental hygiene during quarantine is to follow the advice that dental assistants have given you time and time again: brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. As you’ll learn in your dental assisting courses, this routine helps prevent tooth decay and mitigates plaque buildup.
Tip 2: Those in a Dental Assistant Program Advocate Daily Mouthwash Use
To supplement your daily brushing and flossing routine, you may want to add mouthwash to the mix. By rinsing with a mouthwash twice a day, you can keep your gums clean and healthy—and those in dental assisting classes know that this is the key to reducing your chances of developing gingivitis. However, make sure that the mouthwash you use isn’t alcohol-based, as that could negatively impact the health of your oral microbiome.
Tip 3: Make Sure to Keep Your Toothbrush Clean
Your toothbrush is an excellent virus transmitter, so it’s important to clean it frequently and thoroughly if you suspect that someone in your household has COVID-19. Researchers have discovered that fecal matter contains coronavirus, and since many people leave their toothbrush in a cup near the toilet, you risk transmitting the virus each time you flush and spread aerosolized particles. However, by cleaning your toothbrush and storing it in a secure location, you can help prevent the virus from spreading.
Tip 4: Pay Attention to Your Diet, Dental Assistants Say
Those enrolled in a dental assistant program know that, when it comes to oral hygiene, you are what you eat. Food with high sugar or starch content increases the production of harmful acids in your mouth, and eating too much of these foods can weaken your tooth enamel over time and eventually cause tooth decay.
However, resisting your sweet tooth is easier said than done in the current circumstances. With the COVID-19 crisis creating a myriad of challenges for Canadians, many people are likely using food as a coping mechanism to manage stress. Having to stay at home also makes it much more difficult to resist emotional eating. To combat your cravings, keep plenty of healthy snacks on hand and experiment with new comfort food recipes that are both nutritious and delicious.
Tip 5: Know What to Do in Case of a Dental Emergency
If you have an oral health issue that you think may require urgent attention, the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario recommends that you immediately call your dentist—do not go to the hospital emergency room. The dentist will ask you questions, assess your situation, and provide you with guidance on what to do. If they see that you require urgent assistance, they will direct you to a nearby dental clinic. Although you may have dental training, it’s important to seek an expert opinion in emergency situations.
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