Oral Care in COVID Times
From March 2020, we have woken up in the mornings to schedules that have changed completely. We have been locked down at our homes because of COVID-19. There is no hurry to get to school/college/work, so all our routines are lazily followed and sometimes missed out too. Sleeping late, overeating, oversleeping are changes to our lifestyles that will affect our well-being.
Psychologists have recommended that, while our regular routines may have been tossed out of the window, we can make new routines that help us to go through the day on a positive note to protect our physical and mental health.
Oral Care is important
While exercises, eating sensibly and sleeping eight hours, can help us build immunity during this pandemic, a study published by BMC Oral Health* stresses that dental hygiene is absolutely important because, according to the study, the mouth is an early target of infection for COVID-19, especially the tongue, which is a great reservoir of viral germs. Therefore, brushing of teeth, interproximal hygiene and cleaning of the tongue are essential to reduce the viral load in the mouth.
The study showed that sharing a toothbrush or toothpaste, and using the same container to store the toothbrush, and not changing the brush regularly are possible routes of cross-contamination of the coronavirus.
Store your toothbrush away from others, in a dry place and with the brush head pointing upwards so that the bristles dry faster, and this impedes the spread of any virus or bacteria that could be on the toothbrush.
You have to be careful if you are infected either with COVID-19 or any other virus. The study advices to soak your brush in an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing to help kill any bacteria and viruses on the toothbrush.
Another crucial suggestion is to keep your toothbrush a safe distance away from your toilet, or make sure you close the lid before you flush.
It is hygienic to change your toothbrush or brush head every three months, or when the bristles become worn. However, in this pandemic, if you have contracted the virus, or are showing symptoms, it is important to change your toothbrush often.
Another way of hindering the cross-contamination, is to avoid using the same tube of toothpaste among members of the same family. More so, if a member of the family has tested positive; using the same toothpaste increases the risk of spreading the virus.
Those who clean their tongues regularly will be happy to know that the study found that tongue cleaning was the most effective oral hygiene habit in reducing the spread of the virus.
Close the toilet lid before you flush
If you store your brush anywhere near your toilet, every time someone flushes, some of the spray will fly out of the toilet and land on your toothbrush. So, close the lid before you flush because where you keep your toothbrush is very important.
Don’t forget the basics
Make oral health a priority. Your daily habits will help you keep a healthy mouth. Here are some reminders.
- Brush with a toothpaste every night before going to sleep and once during the day.
- Drink plenty of water and cut down on how much and how often you have sugary foods and drinks.
- Clean between your teeth every day with interdental brushes or floss and consider using mouthwash.
- Keep your bathroom clean that’s the place where you keep your oral care products, and your bath linen.
- Don’t forget to visit your dentist
By Laxmikant Sugandhi,
Associate VP – Marketing
Group Pharmaceuticals, manufacturers of SHY-NM, vegan friendly toothpaste, and other oral care products