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COVID-19 Lockdown Takes Its Toll on Oral Health

Aussies are urged to protect their oral health, along with the rest of their lifestyle, during this tough time. In the Central Coast region alone, more than 1,000 preventable hospitalisations due to dental conditions take place every year. This figure could rise as people stay at home and dental offices remain close during the pandemic.

When people are bored and stuck at home, some turn to sugary treats like biscuits and chocolates for comfort. Don’t deny yourself sugary treats, but don’t overdo it on sugar. 

Too much sugar intake can contribute to tooth decay. The use of high-calorie, sugary foods might not only make you feel sick but could also have negative effects on your mental health.

Even if lockdowns end soon, with public oral health chronically underfunded in Australia and thousands of patients waiting months for affordable treatment, caring for your teeth will remain vital. Here’s how to care for your oral health during lockdowns:

Proper diet matters for your oral health

It is important to keep your teeth and gums healthy. This begins with a proper diet, but many people do not have time to plan their meals.

Plus, when they’re stressed, some people turn to unhealthy habits such as alcohol and alcohol consumption and smoking. These habits can be detrimental to oral health. For instance, smoking inhibits the blood supply to your gums and increases the risk of gum disease. High alcohol exposure can dry out cheeks and gums. Chewing on pen caps, ice or fingernails while stressed out is not good for your teeth either.

Keep your toothbrush clean

If you suspect COVID-19 is present in your home, be sure to disinfect your toothbrush. It can help transmit viruses like COVID-19.

When brushing, don’t forget about your gums. These are important for fighting infection. Healthy gums allow for a better immune response, so it stands to reason that you can fight off coronavirus with a clean toothbrush and healthy gums.

Don’t skip the checkup

Many dentists are now using telemedicine to counsel patients over the phone or video conferencing. When you experience pain or discomfort, try to call your dentist. They may be able to offer you pain relief meds and a referral for better care.

If you feel a sharp or throbbing pain in your teeth or gums, you should see your dentist. Take these symptoms to mean that there might be something wrong. Got any swollen areas in your mouth, on your cheeks, or under your chin? See a dentist right away, too.

Dentists are often in high-risk positions, which is why they need to take extra precautions. You should trust that your dentist will be using appropriate safety measures if you have an emergency procedure that requires one.

Maybe good dental hygiene isn’t at the front of your mind during the COVID-19 pandemic. But ditching this habit could turn out to be worse than missing a few appointments. If you develop a painful cavity and can’t get to see a dentist, you’ll start wondering if losing your teeth was worth it.

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