Clean your toothbrush
First and foremost, it's important to wash your hands with soap before and after using your toothbrush. This will avoid the risk of contamination between the hands and the mouth. Be sure to rinse your toothbrush with warm water before and after each use. This will soften the bristles and remove any food particles or toothpaste residue that has hardened since the last brushing. You can also disinfect your toothbrush at home by soaking it in antibacterial mouthwash, in 1 cup of water mixed with 2 teaspoons of baking soda, or in a glass of water with a cleaning tablet for dentures. These methods can effectively and safely disinfect your toothbrush to prevent the spread of germs.
Follow the “2 x 2 rule”
Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush. If you use a manual toothbrush, be sure to hold it at a 45° angle to your gums and brush gently in circular motions. If you're using an electric toothbrush, gently glide it over one tooth at a time. If your toothbrush doesn't have a timer, listen to your favorite song, browse social media, or play a short YouTube video. To get kids excited, host a “brushing party” to make this essential part of your family's daily routine more enjoyable.
Maintain your routine
Your usual daily routine may be completely broken, but that doesn't mean your oral hygiene habits need to change. Indeed, the fact of not leaving the house does not mean that we do not need to brush our teeth in the morning. It's more important than ever to maintain your daily habits. In addition to brushing your teeth, it's also important to keep flossing. (No, flossing doesn't count!) Flossing is an often overlooked but necessary practice for oral health. Even if you brush your teeth (twice a day), debris and plaque build-up between your teeth. Cleaning between the teeth removes bacteria and food particles that are difficult to reach with the toothbrush. Flossing helps reduce the risk of gum, periodontal, or heart disease. Add two minutes to your daily dental hygiene habits to floss and improve your health!
Limit your intake of acidic drinks and sugary foods
Did you know that sugary snacks aren't the only foods that can dull your smile? Highly acidic foods and drinks can also have a negative effect on your oral health. Acids damage the enamel that protects the teeth; over time, the enamel is weakened or destroyed, which promotes the formation of cavities. This process is called “tooth erosion,” which can cause permanent damage. To protect your teeth at home, you can, among other things, limit your consumption of sugary or acidic foods and beverages, rinse your mouth with water after drinking a soft drink, tea, coffee, or juice as well as brush and floss after eating sweet treats. Chips and popcorn pieces that get stuck between teeth expose them to sugars and acids that promote plaque, damaged enamel, and cause cavities. However, that doesn't mean you can't afford a treat;
Know when to change your toothbrush
It is recommended to change your toothbrush or the brush head of your electric brush every three months, so as to use a clean brush with soft bristles. Bent and worn bristles don't clean teeth effectively, and often trap bacteria that can compromise oral health. If you or someone close to you is sick, we recommend that you throw away your old toothbrush to avoid spreading germs and undermining the general health of others.
Taking care of your oral and general health has never been more critical. As we stay home and keep our distance to fight the spread of COVID-19, let's also remember to keep fighting plaque and tooth decay.