The current Coronavirus outbreak is an uncertain and uneasy time for many people, both businesses and customers alike. If your dentist, like most, is currently unable to provide regular dental treatments due to operating restrictions, you may be wondering how to best maintain your dental hygiene in the meantime.
Until you can book your next routine dental check-up and clean, or get those fillings or crowns you need, it’s important to keep on top of your oral health at home, especially if you’re self-isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some of the best dental products and practices that our dentists recommend to keep your smile healthy and clean!
- How to choose the best toothbrush
- Which brand of electric toothbrush is the best?
- What is a water flosser?
- What is an interdental brush?
- How important is flossing?
- Do you need to clean your tongue?
- What are the benefits of mouthwash?
1. Manual Toothbrushes
How to choose the best toothbrush:
When you are using a manual toothbrush, always choose a soft or extra-soft bristled toothbrush with a small head.
If you have very sensitive teeth, one of the softest toothbrushes you can buy from the chemist is the Curaden Ultrasoft Curaprox toothbrush made in Switzerland. The bristles are made of Curen which is incredibly gentle on your teeth.
2. Electric Toothbrushes
Which brand of electric toothbrush is the best?
One of our favourite electric toothbrushes on the market are the Oral B electric toothbrushes. They have a small round head which gets in and around all the surfaces of the mouth well, including the hard to reach wisdom teeth, the tongue side of the teeth, and even around orthodontic fixed retainers.
It is different from other electric toothbrushes, as it oscillates and rotates, providing the ultimate cleaning action.
3. Water Flossers
What is a water flosser?
A water flosser is essentially a gerni for your teeth. They use a powerful yet gentle combination of air and water to remove plaque from between the teeth. Water flossers are most useful for people with difficulty in their dexterity who find it difficult to floss. Philips Airfloss and Waterpik are the best air flosser options to clean the areas where your toothbrush cannot reach well.
4. Interdental Brushes
What is an interdental brush?
Interdental brushes are tiny brushes used for cleaning in between your teeth, where your regular toothbrush can’t reach. Here, dental plaque builds up between your teeth, so using an interdental brush in your daily teeth cleaning routine is the best way to prevent gum inflammation, cavities and bad breath.
There are many brands of interproximal brushes (or “In-between bristle brushes”), with Pikster being a popular choice in Australia. The most important part of selecting the right one for you is the size. The brushes come in a variety of colours which indicate the different sizes.
Interdental brushes are easy to rinse and reuse. Generally, most patients will use a few different sizes to clean their full set of teeth to fit the smaller and bigger gaps.
Floss is undoubtedly one of the most important tools to keep our teeth and gums healthy. Generally waxed floss is easier to use then unwaxed floss, but the floss that is right for you is the one that is most comfortable and easy to use on your teeth. Getting the right technique is key!
Floss on a handle/stick is a good alternative if it is too hard to wrap the floss around your fingers, as the floss and handle are already prepared together. Some of the best floss stick options include Piksters SupaGRIP Floss Picks or Oral B Flossettes.
6. Tongue Cleaners
Do you need to clean your tongue?
Gently gliding a tongue scraper over your tongue is very effective for maintaining good oral hygiene, as over half of the bacteria in your mouth is sitting on your tongue’s surface. Plaque can build up on the tiny papillae and collect bacteria, dead skin cells and food debris, which is one of the causes of bad breath, as well as dulling your taste receptors.
Dr Tungs Tongue Cleaner is a fantastic option for cleaning the tongue, being twice as effective for removing bio-burden from the tongue as brushing it with a regular toothbrush.
What are the benefits of mouthwash?
The main reasons to use mouthwash include reducing plaque, bacteria and gingivitis, to freshen your breath, and to protect your teeth against cavities and gum disease (if you choose a mouthwash with added fluoride).
Mouthwash can also be useful when healing from dental surgeries. We recommend using a product containing Chlorhexidine to control bacteria in the mouth, which can promote healing, although mouthwashes that contain Chlorhexidine can cause severe brown stains on the teeth when used for a prolonged period.
Curasept mouthwash is one which contains Chlorhexidine and causes little to no staining.
A natural mouthwash option we suggest is warm salty water, which you can simply mix up at home – perfect if you’re in self-isolation and can’t get your hands on store-bought mouthwash. All you have to do is add half a teaspoon of salt into a small cup of warm water and rinse around the mouth for 30 seconds, then spit.
These oral health routine tips are not only the best way to keep your teeth in their best condition while your local dental practice is closed or under limited operations during the COVID-19 outbreak, but they’re also perfect for maintaining your dental health all year round.
Coronavirus Emergency Dentist on the Gold Coast
Unfortunately, with the current state of restrictions, we are required to postpone all non-emegency dental treatments. We are still able to care for our patients who are experiencing pain, swelling or dental trauma, so if you are experiencing a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to call us on 07 5526 8722 to find out if you meet the criteria for emergency treatment.
We will keep you all updated on our operating capabilities, so to make sure you’re the first to hear when we can resume all other dental treatments and for tips on dental care at home in the meantime, please continue to follow our social media, and keep an eye on our COVID-19 updates page.