Smiling Through the Pandemic:
3 Steps to COVID-Proof Your Mouth
By Dr. Tontra Lowe
Unless you have been in a deep sleep for the last seven months, you know that the world has changed due to the COVID-19 virus. Did you know that according to published statistics over 18 million people have contracted the virus with over 600,000 deaths word-wide according to Johns Hopkins University? Research has shown that most deaths are among people with underlying medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. All of these medical conditions also have a love-hate relationship with your mouth. Never fret though! Using three simple tips can keep you smiling through the pandemic while keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Listen to the Health Experts
It is hard to make informed decisions about your oral health without adequate information. With tons of stats and daily updates on the ongoing impact of COVID-19, burying your head and mouth in the sand is not the answer. Viral particles migrate easily to the lungs through the nose and mouth. Wearing a mask will promote the reduction of these particles health experts state, and can protect your mouth from invasion. Your mouth is a part of your body and you must never forget this fact. Your mouth is like I-66—it is a wide highway that leads to other places in the body.
Make an Appointment Now to See Your Dentist
With office closures for emergency treatment only from March-May for dental offices in Virginia, there is a huge backlog of patients that did not have their normal hygiene cleaning appointments, and those who were scheduled for traditional treatment. Additionally, lots of staff at dental offices did not return due to child-care issues, medical conditions, taking care of other family members, or other personal reasons. It will take months to catch up with patient care. It is paramount that you reschedule your appointments now and keep your appointment. Bleeding gums and gingivitis before have now turned into incurable gum disease. Small cavities are now large cavities and require crowns and cause pain. Call your dental office today and make your appointment even if it is weeks away.
Maximize Your Benefits
Employers may modify future benefits due to the costs surrounding staying open at this time. You must maximize any benefits you have now. Since some people may see the dentist for their regular cleanings only once this year due to COVID-19 closings, call your insurance carrier and request to have all of your benefits restored. Ask them to waive the time limit clause in light of the pandemic. You can also reach out to your HR representative to assist. Regular professional cleanings, exams, and x-rays can help keep your teeth shiny and your gums healthy to help COVID-proof your mouth.
With or without dental insurance, the health of your body depends a lot on the health of your mouth. During this pandemic, it is even more important to understand how the virus can attack your mouth and cause worsening conditions. Call your dentist today to protect your overall health and ensure you keep smiling through the pandemic. Your lungs, heart, brain, and kidneys will thank you.
About the Author: Dr. Tontra Lowe is an expert in creating smiles that change lives at Awesome Smiles Dental Center located near the Haymarket Kohl’s. She is also an avid writer, engaging public speaker, and supportive community leader. Feel free to learn more about her office and community engagement activities at facebook.com/AwesomeSmilesVA.