Staying fit during the lockdown period has become a challenge for many people. Since almost everyone is staying at home, Americans have developed unhealthy lifestyles, like eating poorly, limiting physical activity, and drinking more alcohol.
Some people also tend to neglect personal hygiene, particularly taking care of their teeth, since going out is not an option. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), dental spending in the US declined by over 30 percent in 2020 and expects to decline by 20 percent in 2021.
Besides keeping your body in shape, you should also keep your mouth healthy even if you can’t visit your dentist regularly.
Keeping Your Teeth Happy and Healthy
Dental health is vital not only to keep your smile look pretty but also to prevent oral problems. Since many dental offices are closed, you need to keep your oral health in check, especially your kids. It’s important to teach your children how to take care of their teeth while they’re young. You may consult a kids’ dentist on how children can look after their pearly whites at home.
Meanwhile, here are the things you should do, other than regular brushing and flossing, to keep your teeth healthy.
- Watch Your Diet
Being confined at home for a long time may have changed your eating habits, which is always not for the better. Keep in mind that what you eat can affect your dental health. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains nutrition plays a role in the development of dental caries and enamel erosion that cause oral diseases.
Consuming more sugary food, acidic lemon, alcoholic beverages, coffee, and tea can increase your risk of tooth decay and acid erosion. Make sure to eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy. Food products high in calcium is also best for your teeth, such as dairy products, dark green, leafy vegetables, and almonds, among others.
- Avoid Stress as Much as Possible
Living during a global pandemic is stressful for many people. Social distancing and spending most days in isolation can affect the mental health of people of all ages.
Unfortunately, stress can also have an impact on your dental health. When you’re feeling stressed, you may grind your teeth, which can cause jaw joint problems and gum disease. Stress can also lead to having dry mouth and mouth ulcers.
There are healthy ways to cope with stress during these trying times. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking care of your body by meditating, eating healthy meals, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep. Make sure to allot some time to unwind and connect with others.
- Be Conscious of COVID-19
The main reason there are lockdowns and social distancing is to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Health experts always remind people to wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and disinfect using alcohol or a hand sanitizer. But your mouth can spread the virus.
You should also disinfect your toothbrush to keep it clean. Place your toothbrush head down in a mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide. Rinse the brush with hot water before and after you use it.
If you’re living with someone, consider storing your toothbrush separate from the others. As much as possible, store your toothbrush six feet away from the toilet.
Using a non-prescription mouthwash after brushing and flossing can help disinfect your mouth. If your dentist recommends using a particular type of mouthwash, stick to it.
- Consult Your Dentist if Necessary
More dental clinics are reopening and accepting clients by the end of 2020. Ensure you visit your dentist if you need to, especially if you’re experiencing a persistent toothache, chronic mouth ulcers, or swelling or bleeding of gums.
Although people learned a few DIY activities during the lockdown period, don’t try to fix dentistry problems on your own. Avoid self-medicating to prevent further problems. Let the professionals do it for you. If you can’t go to a dental clinic, many dentists now offer remote consultations, so you don’t have to go out.
Dental health plays an important role in someone’s self-esteem and quality of life. Dental problems can cause more damage if left unattended. That is why it’s important to make your oral health a priority, particularly during a time of health crisis. Maintaining your teeth by cleaning them properly and eating healthy meals can lower your risk of dental diseases. Plus, having a healthy set of teeth can minimize your trips to the clinic during the lockdown period.