Better oral hygiene at home may be able to lower your risk of COVID-19. The coronavirus is transmitted through infected respiratory droplets that are dispersed by sneezing, coughing, or sometimes breathing. Our hands and mouths both play a key part in receiving and spreading these infected droplets, so we need to take extra care as we clean our smiles. Here are seven tips from your Cerritos dentist for improving your oral hygiene at home to lower your risk of COVID-19.
1.) Wash Your Hands
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention report that regular handwashing is an effective way to protect yourself from the coronavirus, along with many other germs. Since your hands come in close contact with your mouth as you brush your teeth, try washing your hands at the beginning and end of your dental routine.
2.) Teach Your Family
To keep your home safe, each family member needs to do their part in staying healthy, including:
- Children, who may forget to wash their hands and store their toothbrushes properly.
- Family members who wear dentures, who should wash their hands before removing and replacing them.
3.) Don’t Share Toothbrushes
Using someone else’s toothbrush introduces all their oral bacteria into your system. Since a person can be contagious with COVID-19 for days without realizing, you may be sharing a toothbrush with someone who’s already sick.
4.) Disinfect Your Toothbrush
You can kill off any lingering germs on your toothbrush by:
- Swirling it in a cup of water with two teaspoons of baking soda dissolved into it.
- Soaking it in vinegar overnight once a week.
5.) Store Your Toothbrush Properly
If you keep your toothbrush in a dark enclosed space like a cabinet or drawer, or if you use a toothbrush cover, the bristles can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead, let it airdry upright in an open space away from other toothbrushes.
6.) Clean Your Toothbrushing Area
Keep your surroundings clean as well by:
- Rinsing off any cups or trays that hold toothbrushes.
- Regularly disinfecting high-traffic surfaces like countertops, sink handles, and doorknobs.
7.) Replace Your Toothbrush After Getting Sick
You should always replace your toothbrush after recovering from a contagious sickness like the flu or a cold to prevent reinfection. Since so little is known about COVID-19, this precautionary step may prevent you from getting sick a second time.
Now more than ever, it’s essential that we all do our best to practice excellent oral hygiene. These seven simple yet effective habits are a great way to help keep you and your smile safe from COVID-19.
About the Practice
At Cerritos Southcoast Dental in Cerritos, CA, we firmly believe that great oral health is a key part of total-body wellness. In light of the current pandemic, we encourage all our patients to practice regular handwashing and excellent at-home oral hygiene. We look forward to helping you keep your smile happy and healthy in person soon. If you are experiencing a dental emergency, please don’t hesitate to contact us at our website or (909) 480-4889.