While dentists are essential workers and dental practices have been seeing patients during the COVID-19 lockdown, many people are delaying their routine check-ups for the time being. While good oral hygiene is always important, you should be taking extra care if you can’t see your dentist, or if you prefer to delay your visit until restrictions ease.
We asked Dr Ian Erasmus, on behalf of ELGYDIUM, all about dental health and good oral hygiene practices while being stuck at home during the lockdown. You can book an appointment with him at his practice, Dr. Ian Erasmus Dentists, Inc in Pretoria.
I’m due for a visit at the dental hygienist, but I can’t get there. What can I do at home to keep my teeth and gums healthy in the interim?
You should keep to your normal oral hygiene maintenance program. It is highly unlikely that if you had no problems, that your oral health would deteriorate in such a short time.
Is it true that certain foods may increase the rate at which I develop plaque?
Yes. Especially foods with high levels of sugar content or carbohydrates. The reason is that carbs are also broken down to sugar which produce acids in your saliva that will accelerate the forming of plaque.
I find myself snacking a lot during the lockdown, should I increase the number of times a day that I brush my teeth?
Yes you can. It will do no harm, especially if you are snacking on carbs or your snacks have a high sugar content.
How long after eating should I wait before I brush my teeth?
New research indicates that you should brush your teeth before you eat or wait 20-30 minutes after your meal. The reason for this is that, while you eat, the saliva secreted during the chewing process tends to be more acidic. This, in turn, “softens” or weakens the enamel which means the enamel could be damaged by the abrasive action of brushing.
What sort of dental routine should we be following in our everyday lives?
Your daily dental routine should include brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing your teeth before one of those brushing sessions. It can also be of value to use a daily mouthwash which contains Fluorinol that strengthens the enamel and remineralises the dentine. These could be specific for either an adult or a child.
ELGYDIUM Antiplaque Toothpaste 75g R 64.95
ELGYDIUM Sensitive Toothpaste Gel 75ml R 69.99
ELGYDIUM Whitening Toothpaste 75ml RRSP 64.95
ELGYDIUM has been producing dental hygiene products for over 40 years with specialised solutions treating oral hygiene issues and addressing all needs: gum problems, sensitive teeth, whitening and tooth decay. ELGYDIUM products are all made in France so that the brand can meticulously control the manufacturing processes and guarantee patients safe, reliable products. ELGYDIUM products are sold at leading Clicks & Dis-Chem pharmacies.