5 ways to look after your smile during the lockdown

Looking after your teeth has never been more important.

As the country progresses through the lockdown period, we’ll start developing new habits. Specific behavioural shifts may prove to be detrimental to your oral health.

Thankfully, we’ve got a few tips to keep your teeth and gums healthy during lockdown!

Brush and floss twice a day

Brush your teeth before breakfast, and before you go to bed. Use a soft toothbrush on the margin of your teeth and gums and use a circular motion to break up the plaque and bacteria. 

You do not need to brush the plaque away, disturbing it is enough to disrupt the progress of decay and gum disease. Be sure to floss as your toothbrush will not reach in between the teeth. Using floss or interdental picks to wipe the sides of the teeth will ensure all surfaces are suitably cleaned. 

Use a fluoride toothpaste

This is not the best time to switch to a ‘herbal’, home-made or fluoride-free toothpaste. Fluoride is used to make teeth more durable, more resistant to decay, and helps to reverse early tooth decay. 

This tip is especially crucial if you find yourself snacking more at home. Please remember to use age-appropriate fluoride toothpaste for your kids and to oversee their brushing until they are at least six years old.

Stop snacking on sugary foods

Our teeth are designed to be attacked by acid at mealtimes. Any more than that and you run the risk of forming tooth decay. Sugary snacks include fruits, juices and smoothies. Keep sweet food and fruits to mealtimes, and choose sugar-free snacks instead, like cheese, veggies or crackers. 

Use a hydrogen peroxide or saltwater mouthwash 

Mouthwash is not a replacement for brushing, but it can be a valuable disinfectant, especially when there is a pandemic. Studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide mouthwashes have antiviral characteristics which could kill viruses like Covid-19 – which live in throat and mouth for around four days. 

Don’t worry if you can’t get mouthwash; a simple saltwater mouthwash is an excellent home-made option. Dissolve a teaspoon of salt in half a glass of warm water, bathe your teeth and gums in it, rinse and spit. 

Prepare an emergency kit

It is a good idea to have some painkillers at home in case dental pain does come on. Paracetamol and ibuprofen (as long as not displaying Covid-19 symptoms) are all effective analgesics for dental pain. Keep our contact number on hand and give us a call if you experience dental pain or trauma. 

Smith and van Lierop will be closed for all elective procedures during the National lockdown period. We respect the guidelines given to us by our Government and will be part of the solution. We respect the health of our patients and our staff and will limit contact as far as we can.

Please WhatsApp us for a dental emergency: +27 61 172 9560