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Category Archives: Popular News

All About Coronavirus and Oral Health.

Coronavirus or Covid-19 is a virus that has wreaked havoc across the world. The virus started in the Wuhan city, China, with the first case being reported in December 2019. It has really knocked people and countries all around the whole world,with Europe becoming the new epicenter. Italy and Spain are among the most hit states in terms of death rate with the United States registering the highest number of infected people. The speed at which the disease is spreading has seen countries take unprecedented measures in a bid to slow down the spread. Some states have resulted in lockdowns as people fear the virus might lead to a financial meltdown. 

How is Coronavirus Spread?

The virus is primarily spread from one individual to the other. The disease is not airborne and will require an individual to be in close contact with an infected person usually maintaining a distance of less than 6 feet. The virus can also be transferred to a person through a contaminated surface when one touches it and later touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.

How Will It Affect Oral Health?

One of the ways through which the coronavirus is getting into the body is through the mouth. Such revelations are going to make people nervous, causing them to avoid touching their mouths and by extension, avoid brushing or flossing their teeth. One should ensure that they take care of their teeth regardless of the virus. However, one should ensure that they wash their hands with water and soap or sanitize them to reduce the risk of contracting the bug. Apart from this fear, there is no correlation between the virus and dental health; hence, one should ensure they maintain their flossing and brushing routine.

Why Should You Floss Your Teeth?

Numerous reasons make flossing a must-do activity. For example, flossing helps one avoid tartar through the removal of plaque. Simply flossing brings your smile back by making your teeth appear brighter due to removal of excess food particles which might be invisible and out of reach of your toothbrush. 

Flossing one’s teeth can be compared to cleaning a carpet. Before you vacuum a carpet, you might not see some dirt and particle; however, after cleaning it appears brighter. The same principle applies when it comes to flossing. 

The need to floss your teeth has become even more essential after numerous studies have shown that good oral health contributes to overall health. Most experts believe that there is a direct correlation between periodontal diseases and increased risk of heart diseases. 

Benefits of Flossing to Your Gums?

Periodontal diseases are not the main cause of pulpal death; however, unhealthy gums raise your chances of losing a tooth or needing a root canal. Although people should brush twice a day, this might not be enough to protect you from gum diseases and maybe the eventual tooth loss. 

Usually, most people have bleeding gums which makes them avoid flossing for fear; it might worsen the situation. What they don’t know is that flossing actually helps treat gum, hence stopping gum bleeding. According to research, one should brush and floss twice a day as it reduces the bleeding problem by a sizable percentage. 

How to Use Dental Floss?

Flossing should be done after eating as it is aimed at dislodging food wedged between the teeth. The flossing process should precede brushing. As much as flossing is not a complicated process, below are some of the steps one should follow.

  • Cut 12-18 inches of floss and grasp it so that you remain with enough size between the hands. 
  • Slip the floss between the teeth and work the area as far as it might be necessary. 
  • Floss with 10 strokes maximum, up and down to remove any food particle that might have been stuck.  

Why It is Important to Take Care of Your Teeth

Unlike most other parts of our bodies, our teeth are one of the body parts that we cannot naturally replace. Hence, taking care of our teeth is a worthy cause in and of itself. It can prevent a multitude of health issues, improve our quality of life, and save us money.

  1. For Health Reasons

Oral hygiene reveals a lot about the general health of a person. Saliva is an excellent diagnostic tool as well as one’s main line of defense against diseases. Saliva contains antibodies that defend the mouth from various bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

For instance, saliva contains a protein called histatin, which prevents an overgrowth of a fungus called candida albicans. This fungus thrives when there is an imbalance of healthy and unhealthy flora in the mouth. A multitude of reasons causes this imbalance, key among them being poor oral hygiene. The fungus can cause oral thrush and it can travel down the gut and cause digestive problems.

Poor oral care can also result lead to the formation of plaque and tartar. Tartar is impossible to remove with a toothbrush and with time, it hardens around the gum. Tartar can accelerate an overgrowth of bacteria which might attack the soft tissue of the gum making it inflamed, painful, and loose (gingivitis). If not treated, the gum can pull away from the teeth and form pockets that are susceptible to bacterial infection (periodontitis).

Lastly, poor oral care can cause dental cavities. Apart from teeth loss, dental cavities can also cause abscesses, jaw pain, headaches, or in extreme cases, TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain.

  1. For Aesthetic and Social Reasons

As vain and trivial as this reason might sound, people are visual beings. We choose who we want to socialize with on account of their physical appearance. For starters, a full straight, healthy set of teeth is responsible for defining our facial structure. A loss of one or two teeth can make a significant impact on our appearance.

Similarly, a smile takes center stage of your appearance, and that is why it is crucial to have it looking presentable. A smile can make or break an entire look. Plaque, cavities, and tartar are unsightly, and on top of that, they might make your mouth smelly (halitosis).

Taking care of your teeth also ensures that they stay healthy as you get older. In essence, good oral hygiene will give you confidence and improve the quality of your social life.

  1. For Economic Reasons

It is no secret that replacing damaged teeth is expensive. Most insurance companies do not (provide adequate) cover for dental care, and especially when the procedures are considered cosmetic. Which might have two implications; either fork the hefty amount from your budget or commit to saving up for months on end to have decent teeth. Neither of these two options is easy nor necessary. Taking care of your teeth now might save you thousands in dental costs later.

Proper oral care entails;

  • Brushing your teeth after every meal or at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. This includes cleaning the gums and the tongue as well.
  • Flossing daily.
  • Making regular visits to your dentist, ideally twice a year.
  • Eating a well-balanced diet.
  • Avoiding tobacco products.

There is a right and wrong way to brush your teeth. Firstly, ensure your brush is of good quality and has soft bristles. Rough bristles might erode your teeth enamel or injure your gums, exposing you to infections. The best brushing technique is a combination of gentle circular motions and short back-and-forth motions. Be especially gentle around the gums and don’t forget to scrape your tongue lightly!