One of the worst things is knowing that you have taken every precaution to avoid an unwanted outcome, yet it occurs despite your efforts. This is what many dental patients are experiencing throughout the United States in 2020. People with perfect dental records are visiting the dentist only to learn that they have cavities, gum recession, gingivitis, bad breath, or worse. So what is causing ideal dental patients to experience unwanted oral health concerns? Mask-wearing is putting millions of people’s oral health at risk.
A new condition has been linked to long-term mask-wearing, and it is called “mask mouth.” Without making any political statement, it is simple biology that can tell us that the mouth was not meant to be covered up for hours a day. Yet, with all of the issues that COVID-19 has brought, many people find that they must wear a mask to go to work, shop, visit the doctor, and to go other places outside their homes. While it is understandable why people are wearing masks, it is also essential to understand that mask-wearing can specifically contribute to oral health issues. At Ora Dentistry, we want to prevent mask mouth from ruining your oral health.
Here are tips to keep your mouth clean and fresh throughout the day:
- Chew sugar-free gum. One of the most under-appreciated aspects of your oral health is saliva. Saliva is vital because it helps to rinse the teeth and gums from bacteria. A dry mouth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria because they easily stick to the surfaces inside your mouth. By chewing sugar-free gum, you are helping to keep your mouth moist so bacteria do not damage your teeth and gums.
- Drink as much water as possible. Set a timer on your watch or phone for 15-minute intervals so that you will be reminded to take a few sips of water every few minutes. This water intake will help to keep your mouth moist and your body hydrated.
- Remove your mask frequently. Step outside every hour to remove your mask for a few minutes and breathe in fresh air.
- Brush your teeth frequently throughout the day. Keep a toothbrush and tooth paste with you at all times so that you can brush your teeth whenever possible.
- Brush your teeth as soon as you get home. Even if you are about to sit down to dinner, please brush your teeth after wearing a mask all day.
If you must wear a mask, please take the necessary steps to protect your smile. Nasty bad breath, cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease can be prevented – but it takes effort.
Ora Dentistry with any questions or concerns regarding your oral health. We are here for you.