During these unprecedented times, we’ve all become much more focused on caring for our overall health. But did you know that taking care of your oral health is also a crucial part of staying healthy? Join your dentist in Cary as we share some helpful hints that you can use to protect your oral and overall health now and forever.
Wash Your Hands
This important message has been spread far and wide over the past few weeks, and with good reason. Washing your hands several times a day can help remove germs and keep you healthy. It’s also important to wash your hands prior to brushing or flossing your teeth. So before you pick up your toothbrush or floss, scrub your mitts for at least 20 seconds and never put unwashed hands or fingers in your mouth.
Don’t Bite Your Nails
Speaking of not putting your hands in your mouth, now is a great time to stop your nail-biting habit. Not only are our nails packed with dirt and bacteria that are easily transferred into our mouths when we nibble on our nails, but you can also damage your teeth from the constant biting.
Protect Your Toothbrush
Maintaining a good oral hygiene routine has always been important, and your dentist in Cary still recommends brushing your teeth at least twice a day. But you also need to protect your toothbrush from damage and bacteria buildup. To do this, make sure you store your toothbrush properly. This means keeping your toothbrush away from other ones in your house — a few inches will do. You should also store your toothbrush upright with the bristles at the top and keep it uncovered. Avoid cross-contamination by never sharing your toothbrush with anyone, as that can lead to an unhealthy exchange of bodily fluids.
Replace & Disinfect Your Toothbrush
If you do happen to get sick, you should invest in a new toothbrush once you feel better. In the meantime, you can disinfect your toothbrush using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water. In fact, a peer-reviewed study has found that 0.5% hydrogen peroxide effectively reduces coronavirus infectivity. To make this mixture for your toothbrush, follow these steps:
- Mix 1 fl oz of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 5 fl oz of water
- Soak your toothbrush in the mixture for 10 minutes. Dump out the mixture.
- Rinse your toothbrush prior to brushing.
Even if you haven’t been sick but your toothbrush is 3-4 months old, or if the bristles are frayed, you should still purchase a new toothbrush.
At this time, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends postponing any routine dental care for three weeks. Please know that your dentist in Cary is eagerly awaiting the day when we can actively see all of our patients again in our clean and safe office. Until that time, take care of your oral health at home to protect your teeth and your overall health.