During this time of Covid-19 maintaining oral health is critically important, as you may not be able to
visit your regular dentist for a while. In many areas in the United States, dental care has been limited
to emergencies only and even a regular check-up every few months seems impossible for now.
However, there are certain precautions and procedures you can follow to ensure your overall oral
health during this Covid-19 pandemic. In this article, we will provide an oral hygiene checklist during
Covid-19 to follow to care for your dental health during this time.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene
You should work daily on your oral hygiene. Some of the daily oral hygiene habits to follow during
the COVID 19 pandemic are:
1) Brush twice a day for at least two minutes each time: You should use a fluoridated
toothpaste to brush twice a day, especially before going to bed. An electric toothbrush is
much more effective at removing plaque and bacteria than a manual toothbrush. You should
replace your toothbrush or toothbrush head every three months or after you have been ill.
You can disinfect your toothbrush by running it under hot water daily for a few minutes.
Depending on the brand, you can even boil your manual toothbrush. You might also want to
brush your tongue, because a lot of bacteria can remain under your tongue, causing bad
breath or halitosis. You can clean your tongue using your toothbrush, a tongue scraper, or
even a spoon.
2) Do not neglect interdental cleaning: You should floss regularly. Flossing is a really important
part of oral hygiene. If you have a problem with string floss, then premade flossers work well
too. You should floss at least once a day, but twice a day won’t hurt either.
3) Use mouthwash: A mouthwash will keep you feeling fresh. The swishing action reaches
areas in your mouth that your brush and floss cannot reach. You should read the label of
your mouthwash to know how long to use it. If you experience a dry mouth, you can use a
mouthwash without alcohol. If you are concerned about cavities, you can use a fluoride
4) Take care of your nutrition: You should minimize the consumption of simple carbohydrates
and sugar in between meals. Simple carbs, such as pasta and cereals, convert to sugar very
quickly in the mouth. These can also cause cavities. You should eat more fresh and crunchy
vegetables along with a tangy dip or dressing for taste.
5) Drink more water: You should also avoid sugar-containing beverages between meals. For
example, a can of a soft drink can contain 10 or more teaspoons of sugar. Instead, you should
drink a lot of water. If you drink fluoridated water, the fluoride gets into your saliva, so it’s
like an extra bath of fluoride throughout the day.
Care for the oral hygiene of babies, children, and the elderly
Dental care for babies, children, and the elderly is especially challenging during Covid-19. If you
follow some basics, you can avoid emergency dental visits. Here are some guidelines for healthy
teeth during Covid-19…
1) Help children and babies with brushing: Ensure that your children are using a fluoridated
toothpaste and help them with brushing and flossing, if necessary. For babies, before they
get their teeth, you can wipe their gums with a washcloth, morning, and night. Once they
have teeth you should use only a smear of toothpaste, the size of a rice grain, on the brush.
For children 2 years or above, you should help them brush with a small, pea-sized amount of
toothpaste. Dentists recommend that adults help children brush their teeth till they are old
enough to tie their shoelaces or sometimes, even after that. As your child grows older, you
can encourage their independence and have them brush their teeth themselves, while
supervising them for some time.
2) Caregivers should help children clean between their teeth: Once your child’s teeth are
touching each other, they should be flossing or cleaning interdentally. You can help them do
so, by explaining the best way to brush and floss. Also, a rinse is recommended, provided
they are old enough to spit it out in the sink.
3) Encourage older adults to ask for help for cleaning their oral cavities: Caregivers of older
adults should help them clean the oral cavity. Older adults should brush and floss at least
twice a day, maybe even three times. If they are unable to do this themselves, their
caregivers can help them do so.
4) Treat dry mouth in children and older adults: If children or adults are taking any
medications, it may result in a dry mouth. A dry mouth also predisposes to developing
cavities due to lack of saliva. older adults and children should not use mint or candies to
overcome a dry mouth, as these concentrate the sugars in one spot. Also, once a cavity
occurs, it will continue to grow, resulting in toothache, and even tooth loss.
5) Take care of dentures: Older adults may have dentures that need to be taken care of. They
should remove their dentures at night to let their tissues breathe. They should clean their
dentures with a denture cleaner. They should follow their dentist’s instructions as to how to
look after their dentures.
What qualifies as a dental emergency?
Even though you may be looking after your teeth quite well, as per the daily checklist for healthy
teeth, sometimes, there are dental emergencies. So, what qualifies as a dental emergency, and what
should you do about it?
1) Pay attention to pain: You should straightaway address pain with or without swelling. This
pain could occur at night, or when eating or drinking. For gum, cheek, tongue, and lip pain,
you should pay special attention, especially if this occurs in children. There are several Over the-Counter (OTC) drugs that can help relieve pain, with or without swelling.
2) Consult your dental professional on the phone or in-person: If you have a fractured or
broken tooth if you have broken or ill-fitting dentures, or if you experience trauma, such as a physical injury to your mouth and teeth, you should consult your dentist or oral surgeon
immediately. They will recommend the steps you should follow.
3) Take the right medication as advised by your dental professional: There are several OTC
medicines available for dental emergencies. For pain with swelling, you can take OTC
medicines, such as a combination of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen. You should contact your
dentist for the right dosage, especially if the pain continues. For pain, without swelling, you
can take OTC medicines, but can also rinse your mouth with warm saltwater for short-term
relief. You should consult your dentist for further guidance.
During this time of Covid-19, Harbour Pointe Oral, Maxillofacial, & Advanced Implant Surgery
remains open and committed to providing the highest quality, safest care to our patients, since we
know oral health is as important as your physical and mental health.
Of course, we are taking the utmost precautions, including sanitizing the office, using masks,
observing social distancing, and encouraging patients to maintain hand hygiene. We understand the
seriousness of the situation and realize the importance of not only protecting our office staff, but
also our patients.
So, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your dental and overall oral health, please
consult with us at Harbour Pointe and rest easy, knowing that you are safe and secure despite being
in the era of Covid-19!
For more information about the dental procedures and dental solutions that are available during
the Covid-19 outbreak, consult Dr. Brian Hart and Dr. Kathleen Isdith at 425-353-1009 or at
firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website https://www.harbourpointeoralsurgery.net for