The importance of prioritizing your oral health during the pandemic

oral health

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the health, social, and economic well-being of many people across the world. It has also profoundly affected the delivery of health services, including dental services. As such, oral health and access to dental care for many families has been severely delayed, if not restricted.

Maintaining good oral health is vital for your overall well being, especially during these times. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions, more often than not, only emergency cases are considered important enough to warrant a visit to the clinic. However, with restrictions being lifted and the implementation of more safety measures, visiting the dentist even for your routine check-up is possible once more.

While it’s understandable that you may feel hesitant to take trips outside your home, it’s vital you see the dentist if you’re experiencing any issues with your teeth and gums.

Oral Health and COVID-19

oral health
Photo by Anna Shvets

During the pandemic, much emphasis is given on having clean hands, but a clean mouth is important as well. The coronavirus can be transmitted through airborne droplets and aerosols from the mouth. Your mouth is the most common outlet for the virus when you sneeze, cough, speak, or sing. Ensuring that your mouth is clean can minimize the spread of the disease.

Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out that oral disease increases the risk for many chronic diseases. Common risk factors include stress, poor diet, alcohol and tobacco use, domestic violence, and poverty – many of which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

Of those hospitalized with COVID-19, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are 2 of the most common underlying comorbidities. Coincidentally, studies have associated periodontal disease with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as well.

There may be other potential connections between the pandemic and oral health down the line. That is why regular dental appointments are still a must, not only to keep your teeth healthy but also to get ahead of other serious illnesses.  

Keeping Up With Oral Health during Pandemic

oral health
Photo by Anna Shvets

Transitioning to a “new normal” is still a long way to go, but it should not stop you from continuing your dental appointment. Here’s why:

  • A Mouth Infection Can Weaken Your Immune System

When you have an infection, your body responds by sending infection-fighting cells to the area through the bloodstream. At this point, your immune system weakens and ignores other parts of your body. If you let an infection go unchecked, your whole system will have to work overtime. Your immune system must be at its best to fight against diseases like COVID-19. Regular check-ups can treat infections when they first arise, allowing your body to recover quickly.

  • Routine Check-ups are Crucial Part of Your Oral Care

Daily brushing and flossing can help you avoid dental issues like tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. But, they are no match for the services your dentists can provide. The tools and instruments in the clinic can remove even the most stubborn plaque and tartar. You can also come in to have your orthodontic treatment readjusted for a better fit or to progress to the next stage. If you’re considering braces or Invisalign, before and after installation, check-ups are necessary with your dentist in Brampton

  • Dental Visits Can Help Prevent Emergencies

Tooth decays and cavities may not be necessarily dental emergencies, but they can leave your teeth vulnerable to injuries and infection. With a visit, any holes, cracks, or chips can easily be filled before they become breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses.

  • Regular Check-ups Catch More Than Just Cavities

A dentist can tell so much more about your health just by looking at your mouth. 90% of serious health conditions have oral symptoms, which means check-ups can be instrumental in early detection. During your dental exam, Family Dentistry in Oshawa dentists may check for signs of oral cancer, HIV, and osteoporosis to name a few. With COVID-19 affecting those with comorbidities the most, your appointment can keep you safe. 

Oral Healthcare Tips

Daily oral care is important now more than ever. Here are a few things to keep in mind to keep your mouth and teeth clean even at home:

  • Use fluoridated toothpaste and water to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Limit or eliminate the use of alcohol, tobacco, and drug.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with less hard and sticky food to protect the teeth.
  • Clean and disinfect your toothbrush after use.
  • Don’t overlook any oral symptoms and seek care when possible.

If you feel it is necessary to have your mouth checked, here are some things to remember:

  • Take advantage of teledentistry consultations if available.
  • Go to your dentist’s website to get updated information about their working hours, appointment procedures, and COVID-related efforts.
  • Seek an appointment near you. If you need Invisalign and live in London, get your Invisalign in London to avoid long trips and exposure. 

Despite the pandemic, it is still important to be vigilant regarding the health and safety of you and your loved ones. Don’t let these times setback your oral health regime.

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