Style Living Self Celebrity Geeky News and Views
In the Paper Shop Hello! Create with us

How to take care of your oral hygiene during quarantine

By Camille Santiago Published Nov 24, 2020 7:32 am

By this time, a lot of us have established a skincare routine, learned the basics of proper hair care, mastered the art of self-care, or just learned to embrace our flaws! But how about your oral health? Have you checked on it, too?

You might say, "But I always brush my teeth, anyway?" Well, there's more to it than that.

Dental hygienist and co-founder of MySmile Philippines Chiara Echiverri says that oral health is connected to overall health; and with increased alcohol, sugar, and junk food intake during the quarantine (we're looking at you Miss Rona), it continues to wreak havoc on oral health in more ways than one. 

"The mouth is the gateway to the body and there are a lot of viruses and bacteria that can enter the body through the mouth. If you don’t keep the bacteria under control, it can cause oral infections and inflammation and can play a role in certain diseases," she told PhilSTAR L!fe.

As such, if your gums get infected and afflicted with periodontitis, or the shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth, it can be linked to diseases such as Preterm Low Birth Weight (PLBW) during pregnancy, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases to name a few.

"Since we are living in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic, complications with respiratory disorders are in the forefront. Besides taking necessary precautions and boosting our immune system, taking care of one’s oral health should not be neglected now more than ever," Echiverri said.

So, to help you maintain a healthy oral hygiene, we listed down tips from Echiverri on how you can keep your mouth healthy during quarantine.

Continue doing the basics

Follow the most basic tip of them all: Brush your teeth. Brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste and use a soft bristle toothbrush so it can reach the crevices, and brush your tongue as well. If you're using a manual toothbrush, Echiverri says to use light pressure. She also adds, "Tilt your brush 45 degrees towards the gumline and brush in circles. You can do back and forth motions on chewing surfaces only."

Meanwhile, if you prefer to use an electric toothbrush, which she says is more effective, it should be more consistent and require less effort. "Only guide the brush head on each tooth or every 2 teeth depending on the size of the brush head. Do not do any motion since it’s already doing it for you. For both types of brushes, always change your toothbrush every 3 months."

Don't be lazy—use a floss!

"Traditional flossing method is best," Echiverri said. To do this, she says to use 18-24 inches of dental floss, and "wrap one end a few times with one middle finger while you wrap the rest of the floss with the other middle finger leaving about 1-2 inches in between to work with. With this 1-2 inches of floss, pinch with your index and thumb on both ends so you can have good dexterity while flossing. Hug each tooth with a C shape and go up and down 3-5 times. After each surface, move your fingers to the clean floss never use that same part of the floss on multiple surfaces." 

Hydrate to cleanse bacteria

Drinking water (especially with fluoride) can help prevent tooth decay. According to The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, water "washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria love to eat." It also dilutes the acid in your mouth that wants to destroy your enamel.

More so, you can help rinse debris on your mouth by gargling with mouthwash. But Echiverri says to double check the ingredients! "Antimicrobial and antiseptic properties will help keep your mouth healthy. Please check the ingredients to avoid sugar and alcohol," she said. "Xylotol is a healthy sugar substitute that can also also help fight against tooth decay. Non-alcohol rinses are also more beneficial since alcohol dries out your mouth. Naturally our saliva fights bacteria and the less saliva in the mouth, the more complications you can get."

Maintain a proper diet

"Having proper diet also plays a role in good oral care. Since we are mostly at home, its easy for us to munch on snacks and sugary foods. Once the bacteria combines with sugar, it releases acids that can cause decay," explained Echiverri.

Spray then mask

"Keeping your mouth clean with other products such as mouth sprays are beneficial to your oral health as well," said Echiverri. Plaque forms within 4-12 hours, so spray before you mask to keep your mouth clean while freshening your breath throughout the day.

If you're looking for good oral products to try, check out our gallery below.

Closeup All Around Fresh in Soothing Menthol 125g, ₱145.50 for 2, Watsons

MySmile Sanitizing Breath Spray + Whitening, ₱450, Lazada

JASON Sea Fresh Mouthwash, ₱565.00, Healthy Options

Dr Tung's Smart Floss Cardamom Flavor 30yd, ₱345.00, Healthy Options

Lakbawayan Bamboo Toothbrush, ₱99, The Bamboo Company

Closeup All Around Fresh in Soothing Menthol 125g, ₱145.50 for 2, Watsons

MySmile Sanitizing Breath Spray + Whitening, ₱450, Lazada

JASON Sea Fresh Mouthwash, ₱565.00, Healthy Options

Dr Tung's Smart Floss Cardamom Flavor 30yd, ₱345.00, Healthy Options

Lakbawayan Bamboo Toothbrush, ₱99, The Bamboo Company

CLOSE