Why Oral Hygiene is Necessary during COVID-19 Outbreak?

by Aiman Tahir Laghari
Why Oral Hygiene is Necessary during COVID-19 Outbreak?

The COVID-19 Outbreak has undoubtedly affected the thinking perspective of every individual. The uncertainty and instability due to this pandemic have given rise to various physical and mental health issues. At one point the Health caregivers are trying to keep everyone safe, while on the other point, many other curable health issues are neglected due to the COVID-19 emergency.

A lot of things must have been going on in your mind and amidst all that, you properly have never thought about your “Oral Hygiene” during this COVID-19 Outbreak. So, if you still haven’t thought about your “Dental Health” yet, this is high time that you take it seriously.

Oral Hygiene is basically the practice of keeping your mouth clean by regular “Teeth Brushing” (Dental Health care) and also cleaning between the teeth. Regular Oral Hygiene is necessary for dental health, as it’ll prevent bad breath and various oral health diseases.

Relation between Natural Oral Microbiome and Healthy Teeth!

Now, you must be thinking what makes Teeth Hygiene so special? The reason is, your mouth is home to billions of natural microflora (bacteria). However, if you are not careful about your oral hygiene then these bacteria may increase in number and cause plaque, gingivitis and cavities which can further cause gum disease and the loss of the teeth. In order to avoid tooth decay and the harmful bacteria reproducing in your mouth, it is necessary that you must brush your teeth after meals and flossing once a day. Avoid starchy food and eat a healthy nutritious diet that’ll help you in keeping those bad bacteria under control.

Why Oral Hygiene is Necessary?

Oral disease is one of the major health burdens and concerns in many countries as it can affect people throughout their life.

According to the General Assembly- World Health Organization these oral diseases have the same risk factor as non-communicable diseases. Also, according to “Global Burden of Diseases 2017”, Tooth Decay is one of the most common health issues around the Globe. 

As per the World Health Organization, 3.5 billion people are affected by oral diseases annually. About 530 million children suffer from various dental diseases, mainly dental caries in their milk teeth. As per the WHO, statistics, Oral Cancer is one of the three most prevalent cancers in some of the Pacific and Asian countries.

Oral health treatment (Teeth care) is one of the most expensive treatments. The lower and middle-class individuals cannot afford the treatment. Usually, universal health coverage (UHC) does not include it. In the developed countries it accounts for about 5% of the total health expenses and out of which 20% is paid by the individual, according to WHO.

How Diet affects Oral Hygiene?

As they say, you become what you eat. Therefore, your diet is important for your oral hygiene. Carbonated drinks and starchy food have acids in their ingredients when you consume such foods and drinks you are bathing your mouth in acids, which dissolves the teeth surfaces. The more you consume these foods, the softer and weaker your teeth will be. Non-fibre carbohydrate food items should also be avoided, as they act straight like sugar and thus cause plaque buildup on the teeth. It is therefore recommended by the dietician that you should adopt a “Paleo-Type Diet” and avoid processed food for the protection of your oral health.

Smoking and consuming tobacco are also detrimental to oral health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking is one of the leading causes of oral cancer and gum infections as it inhibits the proper blood supply to your gums. Dentists recommend good hydration for your teeth hygiene. They also endorse avoiding over-eating hard foods as they can crack and damage the filling of the tooth.

Now, since the world is under lockdown due to COVID-19, stress and mental health issues are increasing. In order to cope with stress, we indulge ourselves in bad eating habits. In fact, in order to manage stress, we overindulge in chewing fingernails, pen caps and even ice which can break or chip the teeth. Therefore, you need to resist unhealthy eating habits for your Teeth Care.

Basic Guidelines for Oral Hygiene:

Oral health medical treatment is one of the expensive health care treatments. However, if treated properly in the early stages, then most of the oral health issues are prevented easily. Here are some good oral hygiene practising tips for teeth care and healthy teeth:

  • The best and cheapest way to protect your teeth is by thoroughly brushing your teeth twice a day.
  • To remove the plaque, you need to daily floss between your teeth. It is necessary to avoid gum diseases.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Avoid Smoking.
  • If you are diabetic, then try to control your disease as this disease give rise to many oral health issues such as gum disease.
  • Visit the dentist at least once a year. If you have a dry mouth due to medication, then consult your dentist for different medicine. If however, dry mouth cannot be avoided then drink plenty of water, avoid alcoholic products, tobacco and chew sugarless gum.
  • If you notice a change in smell and taste, you must visit your dentist.
  • If you are helping an older person as a caregiver, help them in their oral hygiene as well.
  • Make sure you are using an adequate toothbrush that fits your mouth. Keep it Clean and replace it after every 3 months

When do you need to visit the dentist?

Healthy teeth can protect you from many oral diseases. You can visit the dentist once a year for a regular oral health checkup. But, if you notice the following sign and symptoms then you need to contact your dentist as soon as possible:

  • Tender, red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding from the gums when you brush your teeth
  • Gums being pulled away from your teeth
  • Loose permanent tooth or teeth
  • Infrequent sensitivity towards cold and hot.
  • Painful Chewing
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Uncommon taste in your mouth
  • Painful chewing

Don’t forget that, early diagnosis and treatment of oral health problems of your mouth, gums, and teeth can guarantee a lifetime of good oral health.

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