Due to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 pandemic, people are currently more conscious of their health and hygiene than ever before. Unfortunately for many people, they are still neglecting their oral hygiene, and are increasing their risk of contracting the virus by doing so. To combat this and help you avoid getting COVID-19, here are five oral hygiene tips from a dentist.
Disinfect Your Toothbrush Weekly
Here are a few easy ways to give your toothbrush a thorough cleaning every week:
- Swirl the toothbrush bristles around in an antibacterial mouthwash for 30 seconds
- Dissolve a denture cleaning tablet as directed on the label and soak your brush in that solution
- Dilute one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide in one cup of water and swish your toothbrush around in it before brushing
- Boil your toothbrush for five minutes
- Soak the bristles and handle in a 70% alcohol solution
Wash Your Hands Before Brushing
We already know that the coronavirus is spread by people touching their face, particularly their mouth. But we often forget that we touch our toothbrush with our hands, which goes into our mouth. Germs, including the coronavirus, can easily be spread this way. Make sure to wash your face and hands before brushing your teeth just to be on the safe side.
Store Your Toothbrush in an Open Container
Do not place your toothbrush in a closed-off area like a drawer or cabinet. Damp, dark places like these can rapidly become a breeding ground for bacteria. Instead, keep your toothbrush in a brush holder. Avoid contact with other brushes by storing each brush in a separate holder.
Do Not Share Oral Hygiene Products
You might know that sharing toothbrushes is an easy method of transmitting germs. But did you know the same thing can happen if you share a tube of toothpaste or a container of floss? This is especially true because you can carry the virus for several days without displaying symptoms. You could transfer the virus to your partner without even knowing it.
Replace Your Toothbrush If You Get Sick
Whenever you recover from an infection, whether it be the coronavirus or a minor bacterial infection, it’s a good idea to switch to a brand-new toothbrush (or new brush head if you use an electric toothbrush). If you don’t, then germs could linger on your brush and infect you all over again.
Due to COVID-19, many people are becoming more aware of their general health practices. However, in order to become as healthy as possible, it’s important that you practice good oral hygiene habits. If it keeps you from contracting the coronavirus, these tips could even save your life!
About the Author
Dr. Danny Tran is a dentist in Covina, CA who obtained his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry, graduating with high honors. His professional affiliations include the American Dental Association, the California Dental Association, and the San Gabriel Valley Dental Society, where he serves on the board. Because of COVID-19, his practice is currently closed for all non-emergency procedures. If you find yourself with a dental emergency, give Dr. Tran’s practice a call at (626) 331-0688.