March 24, 2020
If you are like many Americans, you’re likely concerned about the current COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. To help stop the spread, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued specific guidelines for dental offices. This has led many people to wonder what they can do at home to help combat the spread. With the current limitations placed on dental practices, does your oral health impact the transmission of COVID-19? Despite what you might have heard, your oral hygiene habits won’t prevent you from spreading the illness to others. Instead, here’s what you should do to keep your smile healthy until you can see your dentist in Ft. Collins again.
Can Better Oral Hygiene Habits Stop COVID-19?
COVID-19 is spread through respiratory droplets emitted from the mouth or nose. It has hypothesized improving oral hygiene habits can reduce the presence of the virus in the mouth to prevent it from being transmitted. There have been several small studies to evaluate the connection between oral hygiene and COVID-19. Results have found no evidence to support the link because the virus is spread from the throat and nasal cavities. No amount of brushing or flossing can clean these areas; however, that doesn’t mean you should stop your oral hygiene routine.
How Can I Care for My Smile During COVID-19?
The CDC has issued several recommendations to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, like frequent hand washing and maintaining your distance. Unfortunately, they haven’t released any guidelines for your oral health. With your dental health directly linked to your general health, it’s more important than ever to recommit to your smile.
It’s best to brush your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes each session. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to clean all surfaces of your teeth. Don’t forget to clean your tongue, which can trap bacteria and food particles. Besides brushing, use a high-quality dental floss to clean in-between each tooth before going to bed.
In addition to your oral hygiene at home, the American Dental Association also recommends you see a dentist at least twice a year for preventive care; however, many locations are closed. The CDC has advised dental facilities to temporary suspend elective procedures, surgeries, and nonessential dental visits. This means your semi-annual cleaning and checkup might need to wait. Don’t worry, if you require immediate care, your dentist can still provide urgent or emergency services.
Stay Safe and Healthy
If you find yourself asking, “where is a dentist near me?” during COVID-19, rest assured, the dental office will take the necessary precautions to create a safe environment. If you have any concerns about your oral health, don’t wait to contact your dentist.
About Dr. Shiloh Lindsey
Dr. Shiloh Lindsey provides family and cosmetic services to the community she calls home. As a lifelong learner, she remains well-versed in the latest treatments and techniques, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. If you need an appointment, Aspen Dental Care can help. Contact our office today.
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