Dentistry In A Pandemic: Going To The Dentist Safely And Teeth Care You Can Do At Home
COVID-19 has affected our lives in a way that we could never have prepared for.
Along with the rest of our community, we’ve faced restrictions, self-isolation and a whole lot of uncertainty. All the while, like the rest of our community, we’re doing our utmost to stop the spread and help loved ones stay healthy and safe.
While the situation is changing daily, as it stands, the Federal Government and the Australian Dental Board have put dental practices down to Level 1 Dental Restrictions. This means you can attend all your appointments safely at our dental clinic in Blackburn.
If you have a tooth problem and have been putting off your appointment, you can now book in online or over the phone at Whitehorse Dental.
What you can expect when you come in
While we are excited about this positive step towards normalcy, we are continuing to take extra measures to keep our patients, staff and community safe.
Dr. Melissa explains in this 1-minute video how you can attend your dentist appointment safely.
To attend your dentist appointment at Whitehorse Dental, you’ll be asked to:
- Complete a telephone screening before you arrive at the clinic
- Have your temperature taken upon arrival
- Use hand sanitiser before you come in for your treatment
In addition, all of our clinical, reception and general areas will be wiped down every hour.
Taking care of your teeth at home
Many teeth problems come from home habits you’re unknowingly doing. If you’re spending more time than usual at home, then it’s worth reading our 3 at-home dental tips to ensure you’re not damaging your teeth.
Practising great dental care at-home will benefit you now and well beyond pandemic times.
Keep track of how many times you snack
If you’re working from home, you may have much easier access to the pantry than usual! Snacking and grazing on food too frequently can be a major cause for tooth decay. The teeth need a break from having food around them. If they are not given a break, the mouth’s pH system is overwhelmed and tooth decay can result.
With teeth, it’s not “how much” you eat, but “how often” you eat that matters. Each time you take a bite of food, even the tiniest nibble, it counts as an eating frequency. If your eating frequency is more than 5 times a day, you are increasing your risk of tooth decay.
Don’t brush your teeth after meals
Daily teeth brushing at home is important, but brushing after every meal is not necessary.
When eating, your mouth’s acidity increases to help your body digest the food. This acid softens your tooth enamel. If you brush your teeth directly after eating, the weakened tooth enamel will likely brush away too.
If this continues, you can eventually strip your teeth of its enamel layer altogether. Without enamel to protect your teeth, you’ll be prone to tooth decay, teeth sensitivity, and your teeth will appear yellow. Once the enamel is gone, there’s no way of getting it back. Enamel erosion is permanent damage.
Instead, it’s best to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth.
Better still, keep your teeth brushing to just twice daily, once in the morning and once at night.
Reduce stress on your teeth
These are stressful times. Everybody reacts to stress differently, and for some, stress may cause excessive teeth clenching or teeth grinding.
Finding ways to manage and reduce stress is beyond our scope as dentists. Instead, clenched teeth can serve as a nice reminder to look after yourself. Self-care is important and can be easily left by the wayside. It’s also a great way to look after your teeth!
If you experience ongoing problems with teeth grinding, a dentist can help you prevent damage on your teeth. Contact us for more information. Our blog has more preventative dental care tips you can do at home. And if you have a dental question, big or small, our team is always happy to answer it.