It’s always important to practice good hygiene habits. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, those habits are more important than ever. Even while quarantining and practicing social distancing, you want to take every precaution to make sure that you and your family are safe. While most people don’t think of their oral hygiene as having any impact on spreading or getting the virus, our toothbrushes and other oral appliances are prime real estate for germs and bacteria. Fortunately, your Fort Worth dentist has some advice on how to safely practice oral hygiene during the pandemic.
Safe Brushing Habits
Whenever you handle your toothbrush, your hands spread germs to it. If you’ve been out grocery shopping and may have been exposed to the virus, you might spread it to your toothbrush handle and to anyone who comes in contact with your toothbrush.
By thoroughly washing your hands before using your toothbrush, you minimize the risk of passing along viruses and bacteria. When you’ve finished brushing, make sure to rinse your toothbrush in hot water. The heat will help to eliminate some of the bacteria remaining in its bristles. When storing your toothbrush, make sure that it is placed upright and allowed to air dry. Do not store it horizontally in any dark or damp location.
To be even more cautious, it may be a good idea to regularly disinfect your toothbrush. For manual toothbrushes, you may consider boiling it for five minutes or running it through a complete dishwasher cycle. If you’re an electric toothbrush user, regularly clean the handle with Lysol wipes.
In the event that anyone in your household becomes ill, immediately throw out and replace all of your toothbrushes.
Get Everyone Involved
If you live with your family, you’ll want to be even more cautious about limiting the spread of germs, especially if you live with someone who is at high risk from the virus, such as an older parent or grandparent.
To keep everyone safe, you may consider:
- Keeping all toothbrushes in their own holders, spaced far apart from each other
- Ensuring that all members of the household wash their hands before brushing
- Not sharing any oral hygiene appliances between family members
- Making sure that everyone takes turns brushing, rather than brushing at the same time
- Regularly disinfecting all oral hygiene appliances as well as dental appliances like retainers and dentures
The health and safety of you and your family is paramount. While the virus is a frightening thing, it can be thwarted by staying vigilant about hygiene, practicing social distancing, and quarantining when appropriate. These tips will help you to stay safe from the virus without sacrificing your smile and oral health.
About the Author
Dr. Johnny Cheng understands that these are scary times. He cares greatly about the health and safety of each of his patients. Named one of “America’s Top Dentists” by the National Consumers’ Research Council of America, Dr. Cheng is committed to constantly supplementing his education to provide his patients with the best possible care. If you would like to learn more about how to practice safe oral hygiene during the pandemic, he and his team at Hulen Dental are just an email or phone call away. The office can be reached at (682) 312-3419.