Oral Hygiene: Dentist Shares Tips For Keeping Teeth Healthy During The Coronavirus Lockdown
With no office to go to and no kids to drop off at school, there’s a possibility oral hygiene might be left out of the stay-at-home routine. Which means there might be skips in the brushing of the teeth ritual. Dr
Oral Hygiene For Kids
Parents and caregivers have a major role to play in helping kids develop a proper oral hygiene routine. The goal is for them to understand the ‘whys’.
- Why do they need to brush their teeth with a fluoride-containing toothpaste? Because it prevents cavities and makes the teeth stronger.
- Why do they need to brush twice a day for 2 minutes? Brushing twice daily helps prevent the build-up of plaque which contains germs that cause tooth decay which leads to cavities; while 2 minutes is the average time it takes to brush all surfaces and clean the tongue. Let’s not forget to floss which cleans in between the teeth, that’s extra time, but much needed.
- Why do they need to clean their tongues? To eliminate odour causing germs which cause mouth odour (halitosis).
- Why can’t they eat or drink anything apart from water after brushing at night before going to bed? So plaque bacteria/germs can’t feast overnight.
I think if they understand the ‘why’ they will be encouraged and more willing to take care of their teeth and mouth in general.
That being said, communication is dependent on age and children should be supervised until they are around 8 years old.
Also, try to make it fun for them, brushing your teeth doesn’t have to be boring. Playful motivation goes a long way, especially for younger kids. For example, a toddler will appreciate a sing-along on why and how to brush their teeth. Slightly older kids might appreciate a colourful 2-minute timer that looks like a mini hour-glass.
Parents should make the most of the time spent with their kids this period by supervising brushing, making dental hygiene and education fun and also monitoring the progress of home care.
Dental services during the Covid-19 pandemic
The need to visit the dental clinic during this pandemic will have to be an emergency. If it’s not an emergency please stay home and speak to a dentist via phone for advice.
And if it’s an emergency, it’s also still advisable to call the dentist if you can before going to the clinic. This will allow the dentist to make an informed decision and sort out the necessary arrangements to suit the patient.
The child should be escorted by only one adult and both should observe the transmission-based precautions such as washing and sanitizing hands.
All non-emergency cases and elective procedures have been postponed until further notice.
Right now, most dental practices are receiving only emergency cases. And if you must be seen, be assured that the dental health care professionals and staff are taking the necessary precautions to protect you and also themselves. For example, screening patients for travel and signs and symptoms, using appropriate personal protective equipment, strictly adhering to the standard infection control protocols, cleaning and disinfecting public areas frequently used such as door handles, chairs and restrooms.
As long as it’s not an emergency, all patients are advised to stay home and call their dentist for advice if the need arises.
For anyone who’s got their tooth filled, one of the most common reasons why fillings come off suddenly is as a result of biting into really hard foods and in this part of the world cracking bones is the major culprit. So you might want to steer clear of biting hard to avoid a visit to the dentist.