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Oral Hygiene at Home During COVID-19

Woman with Dental Implants for a better smile

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy in the midst of this unprecedented time in history. I wanted to write to you as a means of staying in touch. I also want to share what I’ve been thinking are the best “at-home” practices that both you and I can do to keep our mouths healthy. The COVID-19 situation changes so rapidly that it is hard to predict when Complete Dental Health will be back to “normal”.

Currently, I anticipate it will be months before we are able to resume regular dental cleanings and checkups. That is likely to greatly increase the time between your regular teeth cleanings. Which will put us all at greater risk for tooth decay and gum disease. So what can we do at home to stay healthy and fight disease? I have some thoughts to share:

Dental Office at Complete Dental Health. Hillcrest San Diego Dentist office

Flossing. We’ve all got a little more time on our hands. Flossing really works, and now is a good time to step up your flossing habit. Once a day is ideal, but you don’t have to be perfect to improve your health. One day a week is better than zero. If you miss a day, don’t skip the next. Disrupting the bacteria on your teeth every 24 hours is the key to avoiding tartar buildup and gum disease.

Avoiding carbohydrates and sugar. The bacteria that cause cavities ONLY eat carbohydrates. Avoiding sweets, processed packaged food, and grains can reduce or eliminate the risk of cavities. If you’re unsure of what foods to avoid, visit the Diet Doctor website.

Electric toothbrushes. Brushing with a manual brush requires more time and focus to do a proper job than it does with an electric toothbrush. If you are using a manual toothbrush, switching to an electric one is an easy way to decrease your risk of disease and preserve your health. Two excellent electric toothbrushes that cost about $50 each and are available from Amazon or other retailers are the Oral-B® Pro 1000 and the Philips® Sonicare 1100. (Pro tip: if electric toothbrushes make you ticklish, you may prefer the Oral-B.)

 CariFree® Products. Because we’re all going to have to go longer between teeth cleanings, I recommend two products from CariFree for extra prevention. CTx4 5000 toothpaste is what I have used daily for years. It is great for preventing cavities, tartar buildup, acid erosion, and sensitivity. I would recommend all of my patients use it until we can resume regularly scheduled checkups and teeth cleanings. The CTx4 5000 has a prescription dose of fluoride and can only be purchased from a dentist. If you are at low risk for cavities (no cavities in the last five years) then CTx4 1100, with less fluoride, is available on Amazon for a lower price.

CTx4 Treatment Rinse is a powerful antibacterial rinse that fights cavities and gum disease. If any of the points listed below apply to you, I would recommend using CTx4 treatment rinse daily or every other day until you can resume normal checkups and cleanings:

  • if you’ve had one or more cavities in the last five years.
  • if you have gum disease.
  • if you have heavy tartar buildup up or bleeding gums when you have your teeth cleaned by Tracy or Sarah.

Like the CTx4 toothpaste, the rinse is only available from dentists.

Both the CariFree CTx4 toothpaste and rinse can be purchased through our office. We can ship products to you for a flat fee of $6.00. Or call ahead, place your order, and we will have it ready for touchless pick-up on Tuesday mornings. Our team will be happy to deliver to your car for ease and safety, and we will always keep you safe by disinfecting any products you receive.

If you have any questions, feel free to email, text, or call. We have teledentistry consults available so that you can meet virtually with me or one of our great hygienists. Let’s do everything we can to ensure we stay healthy, and have great checkups when we return to normal dental life.


Tim Collins

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