High levels of bacteria that have originated from the mouth have been linked to increased rates of cardiovascular disease and lung disease, both of which then leave you more vulnerable to infectious viruses such as COVID-19. In addition, common dental issues such as bleeding gums, gingivitis or chronic periodontitis can leave your mouth more exposed to a viral infection. This is why oral health plays a vital role in supporting your immune system to fight off a viral infection.
With COVID-19 being spread through saliva droplets, all professional cleaning procedures have been halted at the recommendation of CDC and ADA for the time being. That’s why it is now more important than ever to take personal charge of your dental hygiene.
Here is our enhanced recommendation for oral hygiene during these times.
1. Wash your hands as recommended by the CDC before performing oral hygiene to remove any accumulated bacteria and viruses on your hands
2. Run your toothbrush under hot water for 30 seconds and/or clean with soap before use
3. COVID-19 is vulnerable to oxidation, so a mouth rinse containing oxidative agents such as 1% hydrogen peroxide is recommended before and after brushing your teeth (tip: Hydrogen Peroxide has a pretty strong taste so add some Listerine or any other mouthwash to improve. In addition, the version widely available in pharmacies it is 3% solution, so it’s OK of to dilute with mouthwash)
4. Flossing daily becomes more imperative than ever
5. For patients with increased risk of gum disease, consider mouth rinse or toothpaste with proven antimicrobial activity
6. For patients with increased risk of caries, consider fluoridated mouth rinses
7. For patients who struggle to clean between their teeth using regular floss, consider what inter-dental cleaning tool might be best
8. For patients seeking or needing improved plaque removal, consider a power toothbrush