Dental Hygiene Precautions in light of Covid-19

Corona Virus, formally known as Covid-19 has taken the world by storm, creating panic and frenzy all over. Rumored to have originated in one of China’s wet markets, this respiratory disease spiraled like wildfire across a range of countries, crippling Italy and Iran, with cases reported in USA, UK and Canada as well.

Keeping in mind the low mortality rate of this disease, citizens of many countries found comfort in the belief that this is all ‘media hype’. This dangerous complacency and undermining of the speed of transmission led to massive spread of this virus, rendering lock-down across countries the only resort to containing this disease.

In light of the recent revelations and developing research, there are some precautions every conscientious citizen needs to undertake for themselves and others around them.

Before the younger cohort dismisses the preventive measures since the disease does not cause fatalities among younger people, it is important to remember that you could be a carrier, passing the disease on to someone with a compromised immune system, possibly proving deadly for them.

Dental Hygiene

Your mouth is the gateway to all germs and bacteria entering your body. As a result, oral hygiene is of paramount importance to help curb this pandemic. Let’s all join hands in fighting this disease with the following dental hygiene precautions.

1. Wash your Hands before Undertaking Dental Routine

Since Covid-19 spreads through contact with your eyes, mouth and nose, it is important to wash your hands with water and soap for 20 seconds before brushing your teeth or flossing. If you do not have access to soap, it is advised you sanitize your hands with a gel that has 60% alcohol content.

2. Buy Toothbrushes with Caps

Covid-19 may spread through air droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Since symptoms start surfacing two weeks after acquisition of the disease, you do not know who might be infected. The virus tends to last for hours on surfaces so it’s imperative you invest in toothbrushes that have caps.

3. Disinfect Your Bathroom

With significant stress of the virus being transmitted through contact with infected surfaces, especially metals, it is important to disinfect your bathroom every day, especially where you keep your toothbrush. The toothbrush that will enter your mouth could be the hub of germs so you need to ensure the surface on which it lies is properly cleaned with a disinfectant.

4. Delay Elective Dental Procedures

With the skyrocketing cases of Covid-19, it is advised that patients prioritize their dental emergencies and reserve their elective dental procedures till after this pandemic subsides. Patients in need for assistance can always reach out to their dentists via phone instead of physically visiting that would help the ‘social distancing’ slogan to contain this disease.

5. Do Not Share Dental Items

While this is not advised in any case, many couples and family members tend to share dental kits. This practice might increase with empty supermarket shelves after the global panic buying instance. However, it is strictly prohibited you share any dental items with anyone as you never know who could be a carrier.

Practice good dental hygiene to mitigate your risk of contracting this infectious disease!

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Silver Spring, MD

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