If 2020 wasn't challenging enough, a phenomenon known as "mask mouth" is making life a bit more...well...unpleasant. That, combined with fewer trips to the dentist over the last few months, is making it all the more clear that at-home oral hygiene is a critical part of any self-care routine for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
So, what can people do to prevent bad breath, decay and inflammation? As a dental hygienist of 25 years, I would like to share with you some simple tips.
1. Drink More Water: Water is the healthiest drink for your smile and your body as it helps to cleanse teeth and discourages tooth decay. Drinking water is especially important while mask-wearing to combat dry mouth and swish away bacteria.
2. Brush 2X a Day with Good Technique: We’ve all heard this one before, but it bears repeating! Frequent brushing helps teeth stay whiter and healthier. Angle bristles toward the gumline at a 45-degree angle with just enough pressure to make tissue a lighter color. Use gentle small strokes focussing on only one or two teeth at a time. Choose a brush with softer bristles as medium or hard bristles can degrade enamel or cause gum recessions when combined with aggressive brushing.
3. Floss Regularly (It’s Never Too Early to Start!): Flossing isn’t the most popular hygiene habit, but it should be considering how important it is! Foregoing floss can lead to bad breath, decay and other dental issues. Not flossing means you are missing more than one-third of your tooth surface.
4. Book Your Dental Visit: Routine cleanings every six months helps to promote good oral health and a beautiful smile by removing stain and tartar from the teeth. Dental offices are reopening under strict COVID-19 guidelines and regular visits are an important part of a well-rounded oral hygiene routine.
Mask-wearing is non-negotiable these days. It is important to keep our mouths fresh, while also staying safe.
The SimplyFloss Team