Why is Smile Maintenance Important during COVID-19?
Now that things are getting back to a 'new normal' - many people are returning to work or working from home and kids are back to their studies (whether in-person or virtually) - we may be used to our new habits, zoom meeting glitches (LOL) and outings behind our masks. It looks like we'll be wearing them for a while, but since it's not like anyone will really *see* our smiles - we've been asked, "why bother keeping up with the maintenance of our teeth?"
Here are our favourite reasons:
1| Because you still need to eat.
And from what we've been reading about people in quarantine - everyone is doing a lotttttt of sourdough baking and eating and experimenting in the kitchen and snacking. So you're going to need teeth for that.
Think about how little fun you'd have if one of them started giving you trouble - either pain or something cracks or chips. Or if you experience swelling. Or bleeding. Or if a tooth comes out. Or a couple of teeth fall out. We're not trying to scare you (although it IS the spookiest month, October 🤪) but the reality of it is: teeth won't work if you don't take care of them.
And yes, you *could* technically get replacements (like bridges, dentures, implants) - we can even help you with that 😁. But restorations are almost never as good as your natural teeth, so our #1 choice is to take care of what you have (It's worth mentioning that we certainly hope there will be more material options in the future that are closer compositions to your real teeth - that'll be something to get excited about!!)
2| There may be a connection between good oral hygiene and keeping your immune system healthy
No one wants to get sick - especially when a deadly coronavirus is making its way around the world and especially when flu season is just around the corner. There are a tonne of little habits you can get into to that can weaken your immune or strengthen it. Eating healthy can boost your immune. Eating junk food may depress it. Not smoking is good for the immune. Moderate exercise is also great for the immune. Exercise that's too strenuous can depress your immune (Maybe. Some people say that when it's too intense, more muscle tissues break down and your body needs to expend resources to repair them, which means less resources for your immune system).
In terms of dental health - let's say you skip a few cleaning appointments. This gives the bad bacteria in your mouth a chance to thrive, in the form of plaque or tartar buildup or calculus. These sticky substances will feast on whatever sugars you eat, release acids and break down your teeth. They also hang around your gums and it'll create an inflammatory state. Your immune system is called in to try and 'put out the fire' (so to speak). In a way, you're kind of occupying the immune system resources to deal with this gum inflammation, so it either has to stretch itself thin to offer sub-part protection for your entire body or it simply doesn't have enough juice to fight off any other infections. So, you'll just get sick...and your gum inflammation probably won't be resolved anytime soon.
Keep your mouth happy and healthy, and your immune system resources can be saved to be dispatched against environmental viruses, bacteria and other virulent microorganisms. Good home care is step 1 and seeing a professional hygienist is step 2 (because things like hardened calculus cannot be removed by brushing alone, it needs professional scaling).
3| Keep your mouth clean for the sake of avoiding Mask Breath.
4| By taking extra good care of your teeth at home, you'll minimize your visits to the dental visit (Think - just a few routine cleanings a year instead of the usual cleanings-and-fillings-and-crowns-and-what-not)
We know, you love to see us (and we love seeing you too!) but in the time of cholera (we mean - COVID-19 😁), you may be deciding to spend more time at home to reduce exposure to the virus as well as lower the chances that you'll spread it to others. And that's a great mindset. To prevent potential dental emergencies, make sure to review our previous blog posts on amping up your home dental care. Here's one of them on healthy gums.
Rest assured, if you do need to come in during this time, we have new safety measures in place from masks to face shields to plexiglass barriers to lots and lots of sanitizer and soap and disinfectant wipes and disinfectant lights and procedures. We've always been great at keeping everything clean, sterilized and disinfected, we've just kicked it up a notch with added PPE.
5| Seize the Day! If you've been considering traditional braces, now's the time to get started.
No self-consciousness - because you'll be home most of the time. And when you head out, you'll be masked and no one will be any wiser. By the time the pandemic is over, you may already have a straight smile, ready to show off to the world!
From a health perspective, we're all for straightening your teeth because ultimately, it allows the patient to take care of their smile more effectively. It's much easier to brush and floss thoroughly when your teeth are straight, when compared to those that are crooked.