The COVID-19 quarantine presents many unprecedented challenges to our daily lives.
As you struggle to adapt to new routines, and maybe even care for sick loved ones or navigate job loss, your oral health is likely the last thing on your mind.
The truth is, taking care of your oral health during this time is more critical than ever, especially if you’re missing key hygiene appointments.
So what can you do while you’re in quarantine for your health?
Our team at Harbour Pointe Family Dentistry has compiled a list of our top dental tips for quarantine.
By incorporating these into your routine, you and your family will come out of these challenging times with healthy smiles.
1. Remember: Oral care = self-care
Self-care has become a buzzword these days. Amid lavish spa appointments, yoga classes, and green smoothies, it’s easy to forget the basics.
Remember: Oral health is the gateway to overall health. Healthy mouth = healthy body.
Of all the healthy habits you practice, caring for your oral health should be a top priority.
The good news is many of the habits that create healthy mouths are also good for your whole body.
We put this tip first for a reason!
By cultivating the mindset that caring for your oral health is a form of self-love, you’ll be better equipped and motivated to take action on the rest of these dental tips for quarantine.
2. Eat nutritious, well-balanced meals
Have you found yourself snacking uncontrollably on not-so-healthy treats lately? Maybe devouring an entire bag of chips or eating sugary cereal for dinner?
You aren’t alone.
In the stress of quarantine and being stuck at home, many of us are struggling to maintain healthy eating habits. This is especially true if you aren’t used to cooking regular nutritious meals at home.
Limited access to grocery stores and our favorite healthy restaurants only exacerbates the problem.
Eating nutritionally balanced, wholesome meals are critical for your oral AND overall health.
We know it’s tough right now, but do your very best to nourish your body with healthy foods.
Avoiding excess sugar is especially important, as it puts you at higher risk for tooth decay and gum disease – definitely things you don’t want to be dealing with when you can’t go to the dentist.
At the very least, just say no to that second cupcake!
3. Watch what you drink
In addition to eating healthy meals, pay extra attention to your fluid choices.
Drinks can be a sneaky sugar culprit, allowing you to quickly ingest hundreds of excess calories and grams of sugar without even realizing it.
Soda, alcohol, and even your favorite coffee drinks can contain A LOT of sugar!
Moderation is okay, but be mindful if you’re ingesting multiple sugary drinks a day, as they can take a serious toll on your dental health.
Instead, drink plenty of water, and consider tea or lower-sugar alternatives. Seltzer water is a popular alternative for people who crave a soda fix.
4. Stay on top of brushing and flossing
In a list of dental tips for quarantine, you knew we were going to throw this one in!
You know the drill …
Brush thoroughly and mindfully for at least two minutes twice a day (typically once when you wake up and then again before bed). Floss at least once a day too.
Flossing seems to be the one more people struggle to do consistently. If that sounds like you, consider investing in a water flosser…Opens in a new window to article about Water Flossers….
Some people find water flossing to be a more pleasant alternative to string floss, which helps them stick to the habit.
It can also be easier for people with dental work that makes flossing a challenge, such as braces or bridges.
5. Consider an electric toothbrush
If you’re looking to improve your oral health routine while in quarantine, an electric toothbrush can be another excellent investment.
Electric toothbrushes have a few distinct advantages over manual ones.
Studies show…Opens in a new window to study… electric toothbrushes are more effective at removing plaque and stopping gingivitis.
While you can still get perfectly clean with a manual toothbrush, many people lack the proper technique and diligence.
Electric toothbrushes resolve this problem by doing the work for you.
They also often come with built-in timers that keep you accountable for the whole two minutes of brushing.
Not to mention – many people find that electric versions are just easier and more fun to use! Whatever keeps you motivated to brush your teeth regularly during quarantine is worth a try.
6. Have fun with your family’s oral health routine
Got restless kids stuck at home? Struggling to get them to brush and floss (without asking ten times)?
Now is a great time to add some fun into your family’s routine!
Make brushing and flossing a family affair. Set a good example for your kids by doing it together.
Make it feel like playtime by watching kid-friendly and educational YouTube videos…Opens in a new window to example of an educational YouTube video for kids… and rewarding good behavior.
7. Seek emergency care if needed
Lastly, even though many dental offices are closed for routine care, some are still open for emergencies.
If you or a family member is in any oral pain, do not hesitate to contact a trusted emergency dentist for immediate treatment.
How do you know if you are experiencing a dental emergency?
Here are some symptoms and situations to look for:
- Knocked out tooth
- Cracked tooth
- Trauma to the mouth
- Abscessed tooth
- Broken crowns or fillings
- Any pain, bleeding or swelling in the mouth
If you’re unsure if your situation requires immediate care, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Call your dentist and ask for his/her advice.
Ready to give these dental tips for quarantine a try?
We’d love to know what worked for you and your family! When things are back to normal, let us know at your next checkup.
Our office is temporarily closed, but we are still offering emergency dental care.
If you’re experiencing an emergency, please give our office a call immediately.
We look forward to serving our community in Mukilteo, WA, again soon!
We also serve surrounding communities in the Puget Sound area, including Mill Creek, Edmonds, Boulevard Bluffs, Picnic Point, Evergreen, Perrinville, and Snohomish.