Typically, professional dental cleanings and exams should be performed at least every six months, but with the current statewide shelter-in-place order, these non-essential services have been put on hold. Although our practice is not open for non-emergency dental appointments during the COVID-19 crisis, we are still focused on helping our patients maintain good oral health at home. Our New York City cosmetic dentist, Michael Kosdon, DDS, always emphasizes that optimal dental health and proper oral hygiene create the foundation of a beautiful smile, which is why he has decided to shine a spotlight on vital home care practices to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible until we resume normal operation.
Brush & Floss Twice Daily
Brushing and flossing help clear away food particles, prevent plaque buildup, and keep harmful bacteria at bay. A twice-daily brushing and flossing regimen is your first defense against decay, gum disease, bad breath, and other dental health risks. Make sure you are using a clean, soft-bristled brush and practicing proper brushing/flossing technique to protect the health of your teeth and gums.
Make Sure Your Toothbrush Is Clean
As with your teeth and gums, your toothbrush can become prone to collecting viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms. By using mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide, and a hot water-rinse, you can keep your toothbrush sparkling clean! Simply submerge the toothbrush in the mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide mixture and then rinse under hot water. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), it is also important to replace your toothbrush every three to four months to ensure cleanliness and efficacy.
Use Alcohol-Free Mouthwash Twice Daily
Alcohol-free mouthwash is a great addition to your daily brushing and flossing routine! We recommend mouthwashes without alcohol because this ingredient can dry out the gum tissue and may have a negative effect on the immune system, which we want to remain strong during the pandemic. The benefits of using mouthwash include bacteria control, fresher breath, and prevention of plaque buildup. For individuals who prefer homeopathic remedies, warm saltwater rinses are also an effective option for supporting good oral health.
Drink Plenty of Water & Eat Healthy Foods
Remaining hydrated and healthy is beneficial for both your oral health and overall health. Limiting intake of sugary foods and beverages, drinking plenty of water, and consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables can help keep your mouth and body as healthy as possible. We also recommend being aware of biting down on hard or sticky foods that may cause damage to your teeth, fillings, or restorations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic we all need to focus on keeping ourselves safe, strong, and healthy. These difficult times call for attention to all areas of our health—physical, mental, and emotional. We hope that you and your loved ones are well, and we look forward to seeing you when we are finally able to resume full dentistry services. In the meantime, if you are experiencing a dental emergency, please contact us at (212) 658-1440 for more information. Dr. Kosdon is currently seeing patients in need of urgent treatment.