The coronavirus is affecting people around the world right now, including our patients. The stress of the crisis alone can negatively affect your smile. As your trusted dentists in Sterling, VA, we want to update you on how you can continue to take care of your dental health during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are our best tips for maintaining your dental health during the stress of COVID-19:
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
It can be difficult to know what to prioritize during periods of high-stress like COVID-19; however, your oral hygiene should remain on the top of your to-do list. Your dental health is intertwined with your physical health. By consistently brushing and flossing your teeth, you are reducing the number of bacteria that live and breed on the surfaces of your teeth.
When you neglect your oral hygiene due to stress, you are putting yourself more at risk for severe dental concerns that can require costly restorations later on. We want to ensure that you are continuing to practice good oral hygiene right now so that you can avoid facing even more negative consequences from this crisis after it subsides.
Relax Your Facial Muscles
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are common physical responses to stress. It can be hard to notice when you are doing these actions, making it even harder to consciously decide to stop. We recommend scheduling planned breaks throughout your day when you deliberately relax your facial muscles. You can do this by setting a reminder on your phone or leaving small notes around your home. During these breaks, you should stretch or move around your jaw to release any tension you are holding there. Additionally, you should practice breathing exercises and other calming coping mechanisms, particularly before going to bed, to reduce your likelihood of teeth grinding in your sleep. If you suspect you are still grinding your teeth, discuss this with our doctors at your next dental appointment.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Under high stress, it can be tempting to indulge in sugary and teeth-staining substances that are notoriously bad for your smile. Foods and drinks like hard candies, tomato sauces, citrus fruits, red berries, sodas, coffees, and teas should all be enjoyed in moderation to reduce the risk of negatively affecting your smile. If you do indulge in these substances, follow up with brushing or flossing your teeth to reduce the amount of buildup and residue left behind on your teeth surfaces. Moderation is the key to a healthy diet and can help out a lot in terms of preventative dental care.
We are here to help you with your dental care. If you have a dental concern during this crisis, please make sure to contact our office. The staff at Brighter Smiles wishes everyone in our Sterling, VA community continued health and safety throughout the duration of this crisis.