Coronavirus (COVID-19) has thrust America into a sudden health crisis. As a means of slowing the spread of the virus, federal, state and local officials have issued orders for everyone to shelter-in-place. As an additional means of protection, dentists have temporarily stopped providing any forms of elective care. However, they are still available to treat dental emergencies. But, if you can avoid being in one of these unfortunate situations, wouldn’t you prefer that instead? As you read on, an emergency dentist in Dublin explains what you can do to protect yourself.
Limit the Amount of Sticky Foods You Eat
Some of your favorite snacks may be sticky or gooey, which are traits that could have some serious implications for your dental health. Leftover residue that clings to your teeth and at the gum line can attract oral bacteria, and as the microorganisms feed, they can quickly lead to plaque buildup. Untreated plaque growth can result in advanced decay and, in some cases, an acute toothache.
Carefully Chew Harder Foods
With more time on your hands, you can easily find yourself grazing. If you’re looking to take a healthier route, you may consider chumping on a handful of nuts. Because some are harder than others, you should be careful when chewing certain kinds, like almonds, Brazil or macadamia nuts. In addition to chewing carefully, it’s a good idea to take small bites. Otherwise, you could risk cracking or breaking a tooth.
Watch Your Sugar Intake
While spending more time at home, sweet treats may be calling your name. As you indulge in your favorite delights, a rush of dopamine and endorphins temporarily flood the brain, leaving you feeling satisfied. The problem is that sugar happens to be the food of choice of oral bacteria. Thus, any leftover debris acts like a magnet, attracting the microorganisms.
If your tooth enamel is already compromised due to dental negligence, eating an abundance of sugar could send your problems over the top and possibly cause severe tooth or gum pain. To better protect yourself, consider trying out these alternatives:
- Use sugar-free sweeteners (xylitol, stevia, monk fruit, erythritol, yacon syrup) on your food and in your beverages.
- Eat more fruits (oranges, apples, berries, tomatoes), as the sugars they release tend to cause less havoc on your teeth and gums.
- Eat more protein from sources like fish, tuna, beef and chicken. This will aid in curbing any sugar cravings.
- Increase your water intake, as hunger pangs can sometimes be the result of dehydration.
It’s comforting to know that during the COVID-19 crisis, if a dental emergency strikes, a local emergency dentist is available to help you recover. However, prevention always makes life much easier. By implementing what you’ve learned and practicing excellent oral hygiene (brushing and flossing twice daily), you can better protect yourself.
About the Author
Dr. Eric Buck is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. For over 15 years, he has been providing comprehensive and competent care to meet all his patients’ needs. If you have a dental emergency, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Buck can provide the expert care you need at Distinctive Smiles. He can be reached for more information through his website.