Dental health recommendations during COVID-19 pandemic
Based on the official CDC recommendations.
Disinfect your toothbrush if you are sick
Toothbrushes may have saliva or blood on them and have been shown to transmit viruses. A recent study discovered that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can stay on the surfaces for up to 3 days. For toothbrush disinfection, you can use 3% hydrogen peroxide or dilute it to 0.5% hydrogen peroxide.
0.5% hydrogen peroxide effectively reduces human coronaviruses infectivity in just 1 minute, a recent study analysis found. 0.5% HP is an active ingredient in the products that are listed on the government list of approved disinfectants against the Sars-COV-2 coronavirus. To get a 0.5% HP solution dilute 3% HP with distilled water.
Mix the 1fl oz of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 5 fl oz of distilled water to get 6 fl oz of 0.5% hydrogen peroxide solution.
Soak your toothbrush bristles in the 0.5% hydrogen peroxide solution for 10 minutes. Never use the same cleaning solution again.
Rinse the toothbrush with tap water before you start brushing your teeth.
Exercise caution during dental visits
Regulations concerning the safe practice of dentistry during the spread of COVID-19 depend on the specific epidemiological situation in each area.
According to the report of the American Dental Association, 99% of dental offices are open. Most of them provide a full range of services, from preventive care and orthodontic treatment to more complex procedures such as oral surgeries.
Both CDC and ADA advocate admitting patients with regard to reason and vigilance. Dentists are obligated to comply with the rules of the sanitary regime. All decisions should still be consulted with local and state health departments.
The goal is to provide dental care without endangering the health or life of patients or personnel. Since the situation is still developing, you should take extra precautionary steps when visiting a dentist near you.
- Provide information about your health status over the phone prior to your visit.
- Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis when traveling to the dentist.
- Show up at the appointed time. If you arrive earlier, wait for your visit in the car instead of the waiting room.
- Avoid close contact with other people in the waiting area. Cover your mouth and nose.
- Wash and disinfect your hands upon arrival. Consider taking a hand-sanitizer with you.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, or teeth after a complete dental procedure.
- Don’t use cash. Pay with a credit card, use dental insurance or discount dental plans.
- Be prepared for additional safety procedures according to your dentist’s instructions.
Call your dentist
Contact your dentist and find out more about the possibility of scheduling visits other than dental emergencies (whitening, cleaning, check-up, x-rays, dental implants, dentures).
Stay at home
Don’t visit a dentist in situations that aren’t urgent if you are over the age of 60 or have a pre-existing medical condition (cardiac disease, asthma, diabetes, cancer, other). Stay at home and seek medical attention if you have symptoms like a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
Improve your oral hygiene habits
Every little thing you do matters. Practice good oral hygiene to keep yourself healthy. Take proper care of your oral health: brush and floss your teeth twice a day. Visiting an emergency dentist should be your last resort.
Wash your hands often
Wash your hands with soap and water before and after brushing or flossing. Don’t touch your mouth, lips, teeth, gums, or tongue with dirty hands.
Replace your toothbrush
You should replace your toothbrush regularly every 3-4 months or when the bristles become worn.
Store toothbrush properly
Store toothbrushes in an upright position and allow them to air dry. Toothbrushes should be kept inches apart from each other.
Don’t share your toothbrush
Sharing a toothbrush could result in an exchange of bodily fluids and microorganisms. About 8,2 million people in the U.S. share their toothbrushes.
Don’t share your food
Don’t share food, drinks, eating utensils, drinking containers, dishes, glasses, cups, cutlery, straws, etc.
Don’t bite your nails
Biting nails is terrible for your teeth and overall health. It also spreads viruses and bacteria. About 99 million people in the U.S. bite nails.
- Guidance for People Fully Vaccinated - CDC
- COVID interactive map - nCoV
- Cleaning Your Home: Every Day and When Someone Is Sick - CDC
- What to Do If You Are Sick - CDC
- Potential role of inanimate surfaces for the spread of coronaviruses and their inactivation with disinfectant agents - ScienceDirect
- Notice of pesticide - US Enviromental Protection Agency
- About List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19) - EPA
- COVID-19: Economin Impact on Dental Practice - ADA
- Dental Settings - CDC
- CDC guidance for dental settings echoes ADA guidance - ADA
- PPE Guidance to Dentists - ADA
- Hydrogen Peroxide - CDC
- Aerosol and surface stability of HCoV-19 (SARS-CoV-2) compared to SARS-CoV-1 - medRxiv
- The effects of toothpastes on the residual microbial contamination of toothbrushes - JADA
- ADA Calls Upon Dentists to Postpone Elective Procedures - ADA
- COVID-19 State Mandates and Recommendations - ADA