Many of our routine schedules have been interrupted in the past month or so by the novel coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19. Some of the good habits that were once in place in your household may have fallen by the wayside. Children and teens might be especially prone to searching the pantry for late-night snacks or waking up late and skipping their morning oral care routine during this unusual time.
In our experience, one of the best ways to avoid a dental emergency is by ensuring that preventive dental care is practiced every day at home. Here are a few ways you can continue to prioritize your family’s dental health during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Enhance Your Dental Care Routine
You may find yourself with extra free time in the next couple of weeks. Now would be a great time to try out the Waterpik® that’s been sitting under your sink for months. If you don’t have a water flosser, consider ordering one online. Or, simply work on increasing the number of days that you string floss per week. Additionally, ensure that you are brushing your teeth for two full minutes every day, twice per day.
2. Watch Your Snacking
Sugar can lead to tooth decay, which is why dentists recommend avoiding a sugar-filled diet. However, it should be noted that the starches in foods like potato chips, crackers, and bread also break down into sugar. These snacks should be enjoyed in moderation. But no amount of quarantine-induced boredom should lead to chewing on ice, popcorn kernels, or hard candy, which can cause great damage to teeth. Instead, turn to fresh fruits and vegetables for a wholesome snack.
3. Be a Role Model of Daily Oral Hygiene
Kids don’t like being told what to do, but they love copying their parents and the people they look up to, which is why many parents find that making tooth brushing and flossing a group activity encourages even the most stubborn kids to join in. Self-isolation is the perfect time to see if this will help your child get back into a good dental health routine.
Emergency Dental Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Should a dental emergency arise in your household in the next couple of weeks, Southwest Smiles is open for emergency appointments. You can reach our office at 512-637-7333 and we will advise you on the next steps to take. If you or a family member is experiencing unbearable tooth or gum pain, that is an emergency situation that can’t wait until our office is open again.
However, if a tooth has been slightly chipped or you feel a dull soreness in your mouth that can be soothed with a cold compress or pain medication, we will likely recommend scheduling an appointment for a later date. The best thing to do if you are unsure is to give our office a call and describe the situation.
Wishing You Good Health & Safety As You Stay at Home!
Southwest Smiles wishes you and your family all the best during this coronavirus pandemic. We look forward to offering all of our preventive, restorative, and cosmetic services again in the future.