Oral health in times like these: what can we do ourselves?
April 2, 2020
These are uncertain times. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many people are confined to their homes, and healthcare systems face a huge burden in terms of workload. As a start, we want to emphasize that people should follow-up on recommendations made by global and local expert authorities, such as the World Health Organization.
In addition to these standard measures, good oral hygiene habits can help to prevent oral health issues to develop, and thereby help to limit the burden on our healthcare system. By doing so, you not only help to prevent dissemination in the dental office, but also allow health workers to focus on what is really important in these times of crisis. So, what can you do specifically during the day in terms of oral care?
Keeping your oral cavity moistened is important for the protective function your mucous membrane has against viruses or bacteria. Especially in the morning after waking up, your mouth is particularly dry. This is why we must look after our mouth before going to bed at night and right after waking up.
- Before going to sleep, brush carefully
Cleanse the oral cavity to reduce bacteria as much as possible before going to sleep. In addition to brushing, don’t forget your interdental cleaning routine and finish by rinsing your mouth using a mouthwash.
- Pay extra attention to your oral care in the mornings
In the morning after waking up, your oral cavity has the highest counts of bacteria.
- Massage to increase secretion of saliva
Saliva contains natural antimicrobial components such as lysozyme and lactoferrin; therefore, it works to prevent the growth of bacteria. If you secrete enough saliva, your mouth will be healthier, improving protection against potential infections.