Looking for more ways to help prevent contracting COVID-19 while boosting your immune system? Make these strategies a part of your daily routine at home to improve your oral health while providing support for your body’s natural ability to fight off viral infections like COVID-19. Did you know your gum health has been directly linked with many diseases in the human body that could impact your defense against both viral and bacterial infections? Although you may have to wait a little longer to have your cleaning and wellness visit with Dr. Powell and our team, you can start applying these tips today to protect your overall health, give your immune system a boost, and get a post-worthy smile you can be proud to show off!

Wash Hands Before Brushing & Flossing
You already know your best chance of preventing contracting the coronavirus (COVID-19) and other viral infections such as influenza is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water as well as not touch your face. This is because the virus can attach to your hands and enter the body through your eyes, nose, and mouth to cause infection. Therefore, be particularly careful to rub your hands together in all directions and create friction with soap as you wash your hands before you brush and floss your teeth.

Gum Disease and Pathogenic Bacteria
Now, imagine your gums are bleeding slightly when you brush or floss and you did not wash your hands properly. Any harmful bacteria residing on your hands or those already living in your mouth can enter your bloodstream and either cause disease or at the very least weaken your immune system. Prevent bleeding gums by brushing twice daily in small circles using a 45-degree angle, floss at least once per day from down below the gumline upwards and back down again to scrape against the side of each tooth, and replace your toothbrush or brush head after recovering from illness or every three months, whichever comes first.

Add Flouride
There is a good reason so many toothpaste brands advertise that their formula contains fluoride. This is because studies have shown fluoride to prevent cavities in two ways: by enforcing tooth enamel and reducing the amount of bacteria-produced acid. Furthermore, by preventing cavities, this compound may help improve your gum health thereby restricting the number of harmful bacteria allowed to enter your bloodstream through your mouth. Fortunately, fluoride is often found in such sources as tap water, tea, fish, and milk. Combine these food and beverage items with a fluoride-containing toothpaste for best results.

Swish With Antibacterial Mouthwash
Speaking of potential sources of fluoride, although you may think of mouthwash as a quick way to get fresh breath, there are many other reasons you should get in your daily dose of swishing. For example, the benefits of therapeutic mouthwash may include plaque and gingivitis management, which, as previously mentioned, could help your immune system to stay healthy and better able to fight off viral or bacterial infections by promoting healthier gum tissue and preventing cavities. Be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance and bacteria reduction claims when selecting your mouthwash formula and brand.

Wash Hands After Brushing & Flossing
Of course, washing off the germs acquired from your brushing and flossing regime before touching other items in your home is an equally critical step in lessening the spread of contagious illnesses as the habits mentioned above. This is especially true with COVID-19 as no symptoms need to be present in order for the virus to be passed to others who touched what an unknowingly infected individual touched or came too close to an infected individual.

Thus, while COVID-19 and other viral or bacterial infections can be harmful to your health, the good news is the above oral care habits can significantly reduce your chances of contracting such illnesses when performed correctly and regularly. Additionally, your immune system will thank you for maintaining optimum oral health care practices since gum disease and poor oral hygiene has been linked to many diseases found throughout the body that could weaken your natural healing abilities. If you have questions about how to apply these habits to your daily regime, please contact us using our convenient online form or by calling (828) 322-2133. Your protection and well-being are always our top priority as we look forward to seeing you in our office for your routine care visits soon. Until then, stay safe and remember your dental support is only a phone call away.