Maintaining a good oral hygiene can save you from the clutches of many germs and viruses. This should be a habit throughout the year but it becomes more of a concern when droplet infections like COVID-19 are creating a havoc in the entire world.
You can contact the virus very easily simply by touching any surface in the bathroom harbouring the virus and a good oral hygiene routine can help you protect yourself from such nasty viruses.
According to a US study, 60% of the toothbrushes found in communal bathrooms tested positive of faecal Coliform bacteria. Also, research suggests that COVID-19 is spread through aerosol from the faecal matter generated by toilet flushing which is responsible for 30% of the current cases.
Here are a few practical tips that you can easily follow at your home and keep the virus at bay by minimizing any type of cross-contamination –
1. Sharing is caring, but not in the case of your toothbrush.
- Sharing of toothbrush is equal to sharing of germs.
- No matter how intimate you are with a person, sharing of your toothbrush is never a good idea even when there is no risk of cross-contamination.
2. Don’t store toothbrushes of all the family members together and consider storing them outside the bathroom if possible.
3. Wash your hands before and after brushing your teeth.
4. Keep your toothbrush in a clean container.
- Make sure that your toothbrush does not contain any residue by rinsing it thoroughly under a hot water faucet.
- If you store your toothbrush in a container with a disinfectant or mouthwash, be sure to use a new solution each day.
- Consider using a toothbrush sanitizer if possible.
5. Don’t use closed containers to store your toothbrushes.
- Store it upright and allow it to dry.
- Do not use caps or covers for your toothbrush as moist environment are more conducive to the growth of unwanted germs than open air.
- Store them vertically with bristles upwards and make sure they are not close to your toilet.
6. Consider using an antimicrobial mouthwash before you brush in order to reduce the level of bacteria in your mouth so that you don’t transfer them to your toothbrush.
7. Don’t brush or floss immediately after drinking acidic beverages (like soda, sports drinks and juices) as it can cause enamel erosion. Wait for an hour at least.
8. Don’t forget to clean your tongue, inner parts of lips and cheeks with the back headend of the toothbrush.
9. Change your toothbrush after this coronavirus crisis as toothbrushes act as a breeding ground for micro-organisms and can act as a carrier for re-infection.
10. Sanitize your bathroom as often as possible.
With these small considerations we might be able to give a tough fight to this global pandemic and emerge as a stronger, healthier tribe.
Toothache is the last thing you would want in this time when your dentist is available only for emergency treatments. Here are a few tips for prevention of gingivitis and toothache:
- Brush your teeth twice a day.
- Gargle and rinse your mouth after every meal.
- Replace your toothbrush time to time, recommended time is every 3 months or sooner if the bristles look splayed.
- Keep one extra toothbrush with you.
- Floss daily.
- Intake of Vitamin C rich food.
- Use a natural/alcohol free mouthwash.
- Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Limit sugar intake.
Let us pledge for mouth health on this World Oral Health day 2020 with these simple steps.
Let’s Unite for Mouth Health!
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