It’s been a strange few months, and in many ways we’ve had to put our normal lives on hold so that we can adapt to the changes that the coronavirus pandemic has wrought.
For many this has meant working from home, or not working at all, mostly not even leaving the house. Add in the fact that children have not been at school and that the first few weeks saw people experiencing temporary shortages of certain foods and other basic necessities, and it’s all felt very apocalyptic and more like something out of a best-selling thriller than reality.
As such, it’s more than likely that oral health hasn’t been a primary concern for many during this time. On top of this, with no access to dental professionals, and some people changing their habits, there’s every chance that people need to reprioritise their oral health.
But where to begin?
Of course, the best thing to do is to make a dental appointment as soon as possible. It’s likely that this won’t be an immediate solution – there is a huge demand for appointments right now, with many practices prioritising those in pain. However, it’s important to at least get into the line and make sure that you have a professional evaluate your mouth and correct any problems that may have occurred during the last few months.
This is especially important considering certain habit changes that may have occurred during the lockdown period. Did you know that alcohol sales spiked by upwards of 20% during the lockdown period?[i] Some have definitely turned to an extra drink or two as a stress-coping mechanism, and while that is perfectly forgivable, we know that alcohol can have a damaging effect on oral health. Indeed, research has proven that increased intake of alcohol has been linked with higher incidence of tooth erosion, tooth decay and even oral cancer.[ii]
Diets may have changed considerably too – while lots of people may have used this time to eat more healthily, it’s just as likely that the stress of the situation has caused many to reach for sugary snacks and easy, chuck in the oven kind of meals which are full of ingredients that can damage tooth enamel and cause lasting harm.
It’s simple advice, but the best home routine you can follow for your oral health is to brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, and support this effort with interdental cleaning. A recent study has confirmed that the oral microbiome (the collective term for the bacteria, fungi and other small organisms living in our mouths) is drastically impacted by proper brushing and interdental cleaning. The study found that those who did clean and floss regularly had far less bio-diversity of these organisms, meaning they were less likely to experience gum inflammation, tooth decay and other problems.[iii]
In the end, it’s all about looking after your oral health as best as possible, especially while dental services do what they can to manage the current increased demand. By evaluating your diet and habits as well as taking meticulous care at home, you can reprioritise your oral health so that your teeth and gums stay in good condition.
For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999
Or visit www.endocare.co.uk
[i] BBC News. Why You might Be Drinking Too Much During Lockdown. Link: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200507-why-you-might-be-drinking-too-much-during-lockdown [Last accessed July 20].
[ii] Royal College of Surgeons of England. Alcohol Consumption Can Damage Oral Health, Warn Oral Surgeons. Link: https://www.rcseng.ac.uk/news-and-events/media-centre/press-releases/alcohol-and-teeth/
[iii] Science Daily. The Microbes In Your Mouth, And A Reminder To Floss And Go To The Dentist. Link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200302162248.htm [Last accessed July 20].