Homecare During COVID-19 Outbreak
We understand that our office closure interrupts the hygiene recall schedule of many of our patients. Because of the extended time between appointments and the fact that we can’t provide our usual in-person coaching, we want to make sure we are finding other ways to provide you with information to maintain excellent oral hygiene at home. Dr. Sekijima and our hygienists have compiled a list of helpful tips to help you continue to maintain your oral health while our office is closed. Though stress levels may be higher, now is not the time to skip our oral hygiene.
Oral Hygiene Tips:
- Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds prior to brushing, flossing, or before touching your face in general.
- Please always remember that good oral hygiene begins with brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, and using any floss picks, a WaterPik, or other device to clean between the teeth. Abiding by a good routine can help prevent gum infections, cavities, and tooth loss. Though stress levels may be higher, now is not the time to skip your oral hygiene.
- It is best to brush in the morning and before going to sleep, either with your power toothbrush or a manual one.
- Remember to place your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against your teeth, and be sure to brush every surface of each tooth (biting surfaces, surfaces against the cheek/lip, and surfaces against the tongue/palate).
- Brushing in total for no less than 2 minutes is recommended.
- If using a power toothbrush, move the toothbrush gently—no scrubbing—across your teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush, manual and power heads, approximately every 3-4 months.
- If you have had a cold or illness, get a new toothbrush or replace your power brush head.
- Keep toothbrushes separated to decrease cross contamination.
- Mouthwashes may be used in addition to brushing and flossing.
Oral Health and the Importance of Nutrition:
It is beneficial to be mindful of what you eat because foods can contribute to tooth decay when they combine with the bacteria in your mouth. Here are a few simple cavity-prevention principles:
- Keep meal and snack times organized, with water in between meals
Eat every 3 hours (versus, say, every 30 minutes). Also, if indulging in any sugary treats, it is better to eat them immediately after a meal and not as snacks. This minimizes the acid attacks on the teeth during the day. Teeth also need a break in between eating and drinking to allow saliva the chance to rinse away the acid that bacteria make and heal the teeth. Avoiding non-water beverages between meals is best.
- Select “tooth-friendly” foods
Identifying “good” or “bad” foods is not black and white when it comes to teeth. In fact, some foods that are healthy for the body can contribute to cavities (see table below).The primary factor here is stickiness, more specifically, stickiness from starches and other carbohydrates. The most important example are crackers. Although bread and crackers may provide similar nutrition, crackers stick to the teeth 9 times more than bread.When it comes to teeth, fresh fruit (less sticky) is better than dried fruit for teeth (more sticky), and fresh bread is better than “dried bread” (crackers).
- Brush your teeth (or child’s teeth) well every night, and have only water afterward
Especially when it comes to brushing kids’ teeth, quality helps more than quantity. It is more beneficial to help your child brush for 30 seconds once a day than to let them brush their own teeth twice a day for two minutes.
Interested in more information on how to keep your teeth healthy? We invite you to visit Dr. Sekijima’s blog: fillingyouinblog.com/blog
We hope these recommendations and suggestions from our team can help ease any dental concerns while you are waiting to be seen again. These are also good guidelines to follow throughout the year between visits to maintain good oral hygiene.
We are sorry we are unable to see you in the immediate future, but we are looking forward to our next opportunity to care for you and your family’s dental needs.