How COVID-19 Can Impact Your Oral Health

Family Dentist, Orthodontists

COVID-19 has changed nearly every aspect of the world as we know it. As a result, people everywhere are taking precautions and changing their lifestyles in ways we never imagined, including visiting the dentist. 

Here at Trident Dental in Houston, Texas, our experienced team remains committed to helping you and your family continue to have the best oral health possible during this unprecedented time. Even though you may not be able to come in for regularly scheduled cleanings and exams or for orthodontic treatments, you can still take steps to keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. 

Take a few minutes to learn how COVID-19 can impact your oral health and what you can do to be proactive. 

Postpone nonurgent dental procedures

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s necessary to postpone nonurgent dental visits and treatments to help protect yourself and our dental team from risk of exposure to germs. If you have an urgent dental issue, the American Dental Association (ADA) has also issued a set of guidelines for our dental team and patients to follow, should the need arise. 

Currently, the ADA recommends that dentists continue to keep our offices closed to routine dental care and treatment until at least April 30, 2020

What’s considered a dental emergency?

If you’re not quite sure what’s considered a dental emergency or something that can wait until shelter-in-place orders are lifted, keep the following guidelines in mind:

Appointments that can wait:

  • Routine appointments for braces and Invisalign®
  • Some tooth extractions 
  • Some fillings for cavities
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dental veneers
  • Routine X-rays and cleanings

If you have a tooth that needs to be pulled or a cavity that needs to be filled, but you’re not in pain, it’s not considered a dental emergency. 

Appointments that require attention:

  • Severe tooth or jaw pain
  • A painful gum infection
  • Swelling in your gums that doesn’t go away
  • Bleeding gums that won’t stop
  • Knocked-out teeth
  • Fractured teeth
  • Stitches that need to be removed after oral surgery
  • Broken wires on braces or loose brackets that cause pain

We may be able to speak to you over the phone to help assess your condition and determine if an in-person dental visit is necessary. 

What you can do to keep your teeth healthy

Even if the coronavirus doesn’t directly impact your overall health, not being able to come to the dentist can make a difference to your teeth and gums. Until you can come in for regularly scheduled cleanings, orthodontic treatments, extractions, and implants, here are some ways you can continue to keep your mouth healthy at home.

  • Brush at least twice a day
  • Floss once a day, every day
  • Use an electric toothbrush, if possible
  • Rinse your mouth with nonalcoholic mouthwash twice a day
  • Avoid excessive snacking on sugary treats
  • Avoid sodas and acidic beverages
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Don’t smoke
  • Avoid foods that could crack a tooth or damage a filling

Eating a healthy diet during the COVID-19 pandemic not only helps keep your immune system strong, but can also help your teeth and gums stay strong, too. Healthy gums can help you be more prepared to fight the Coronavirus infection, should you contract it. Evidence shows that your body’s response to infection is closely related to your gum health. 

Keep your toothbrush clean

It’s more important than ever to keep your toothbrush clean, or buy a new one if you’ve been sick. Toothbrushes can easily transmit viruses. Keep yours clean by soaking it in a mixture of mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide. 

Additionally, if your toothbrush is on the sink near a toilet, always close the lid before you flush to prevent airborne germs from landing on your bristles!

As a patient of Trident Dental, you’re part of our extended family, and we’re here for you should the need arise during this uncertain time. If you have questions or concerns, you can send us a message through our online system, or call our Houston office at 281-975-4942.