As you likely already know, the Louisiana Department of Health has mandated that dental providers only open for essential procedures until further notice due to Covid 19 safety precautions. This means if you had any routine appointments, including preventative hygiene/routine visits, orthodontic treatment, deliveries of appliances, and non-urgent dental procedures, they will need to be rescheduled. If you have a true emergency, you can still see your local dentist. Note that most dentists are not accepting new patients at this time due to inability to access previous x-rays, dental history, medical conditions, etc. If you are in a great deal of pain, do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Maestri and team to see if there is anything we can do to help with your situation. In the meantime, we wanted to use this opportunity to focus on things you can be doing at home to cultivate healthy oral routines.
Tips for at home dental care:
Don’t brush too hard or too often
Believe it or not, you can over-brush your teeth! Brushing too hard or too often can actually cause damage to your gums and the root surfaces of your teeth. This can lead to discolored teeth which can also appear very long. The damage caused by over brushing or brushing too hard in the dental world is called toothbrush abrasion. Toothbrush abrasion can lead to tooth sensitivity, damage to the enamel of the tooth which can make you more susceptible to cavities. Stick to twice a day brushings and make sure you are using the right toothbrush! A soft bristled, multi-tufted toothbrush that appropriately fits in your mouth is what we recommend. Be sure to replace your toothbrush at the first signs of bristle ware (typically every three months).
Put down the sugary quarantine snacks!
Tooth decay is the most chronic disease in both children and adults, and it is almost entirely preventable. Sugary drinks and foods are consumed by plaque bacteria that use that sugar to produce an acid that attacks your enamel. This is why sugar can lead to cavities and other dental problems including tooth decay. The less sugar you consume, the better your teeth will be.
Drink a lot of water
The positive effects of drinking a lot of water extends into your oral health! Drinking water after each meal is like giving your teeth a bath in between brushings. It helps to wash out some of the negative effects from acidic foods and beverages. Water also contributes to keeping your mouth moist which promotes saliva to do its job. Saliva helps with digestion, fights germs and even helps protect from tooth decay. Be mindful of your consumption of things that lead to dry mouth such as alcohol, caffeine and certain medications.
Floss – it really is important
Daily flossing should be treated just as important as brushing. Your toothbrush cannot reach the tight spaces between your teeth under the gumline. If you are new to flossing, be gentle, take it one tooth at a time, and be consistent. If flossing is just not your thing or if you find it painful, consider some other effective alternatives such as water flossers, dental pics etc.
Teeth and gums are made up of calcium so eating foods high in calcium will help keep your teeth strong. Vitamin D is excellent for helping our bodies absorb the calcium we consume. Get outdoors at least once a day and soak up some sun. As mentioned above, avoid sugary foods and consider foods that promote saliva production such as tart or sour fruits to help fight off bacteria.
The health and wellness of our patients, staff and their families is our number one priority. We thank you for your patience during this challenging time. If you have any questions at all, please call or send us a private message so that we can respond in a timely manner and continue our dedicated level of care to you even during these tough circumstances. – Dr. Maestri & team.