Taking Care Of Your Oral Health During Lockdown

Some simple oral health care tips to help you through the coming weeks.

oral hygiene equipmentHopefully we are all following government advice to stay at home, apart from essential workers and for exercise or food suppliers. Although this initial period technically ends soon, there is a widespread belief that the restrictions will be extended for several more weeks, and perhaps even more strictly.

We are sure that our Foxhall Dental Practice patients are finding it stressful and worrying and, like us, can’t wait for things to return to normal, or at least to some degree of normality. As it is though, what is happening is necessary and we encourage our patients to follow government guidelines strictly. We also encourage you to look after your own welfare, including teeth and gums during this testing time. Bearing in mind that even emergency dental care is quite restricted at the moment, it makes sense to do all that you can to avoid requiring it.

In today’s blog, our Ipswich dentists offer some general oral health care advice to help keep your teeth and gums healthy during lockdown.

Teeth cleaning routine

In ‘normal’ times, most of us will live by certain routines to some degree and this includes when we clean our teeth. Our night time clean should be easy to replicate as it should always be done last thing at night before we go to bed, with nothing (except water) eaten or drunk afterwards. Mornings may be a different matter though.

If we usually brush our teeth just before leaving for work, we may not currently have that situation as many businesses are closed. As this gets us out of a routine of getting ready for work, it is possible that we may also forget to clean our teeth. If you are in this situation, try to find a regular time to brush your teeth, whether that is the first thing upon getting up or perhaps before you walk the dog; whatever fits in with your own lifestyle – but please keep the discipline.

Start flossing

One of the things that we sometimes hear is that people don’t have the time to floss between their teeth. In all likelihood, this is because some people find it difficult to do and perhaps give up. So if you find that you currently have time on your hands, this is a good opportunity to learn how to do it. There are videos available online, though please make sure you choose a reputable one to help you. We are sure that once you have practiced a little, you will be able to do this in just a few minutes and subsequently improve the health of your teeth and gums.

Don’t eat too much junk food

Unless you are highly motivated, you, along with many others, will probably find that you have a lot of spare time to fill unless you are one of those still working. It is a strange time and whilst we might fill some of it with hobbies etc, there is a good chance that you will spend more time than usual watching films or TV.

We should certainly allow ourselves to do this as it is a stressful time for many of us and if this helps, then that’s beneficial. What we would ask our patients though, is that you don’t also use this as an ‘excuse’ to eat too much comfort food. We accept that this may increase a little at this time and we do need to allow ourselves a little leeway, but sugar doesn’t judge, and whatever the reasons for eating it, too much sugar is likely to lead to tooth decay.

Remember that whilst emergency dental treatment may be available for some problems, such as severe toothache or significant damage caused by trauma, other, more minor problems, such as a minor toothache or a lost filling may need to be left until dental practices are able to safely open again. Although we appreciate that this is inconvenient, it is also important to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

The next generation

If you have children and have time on your hands, why not build oral health into their home education? This can be made interesting with drawing competitions, watching videos and maybe even playing at being dentists (no sharp implements please!). Educating them early may help them to understand better why they need to brush their teeth and not eat too many sweets. You might even learn something yourself along the way.

Please use this time to look after yourself and stay safe and abide by the government guidelines. The more that people do this, the better it will be for everyone.

The team at the Foxhall Dental Clinic look forward to getting back to work as soon as possible and taking care of our patient’s needs. Hopefully, with good care and perhaps a little luck, you will avoid needing treatment whilst we are closed. Should you be unfortunate enough to require urgent emergency dental treatment, your starting point should be to call us on 01473 857446 where you will be triaged and advised on the next steps.

Stay safe and take care, from all at our Ipswich practice.