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Oral Health Advice during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Oral Health Advice during the COVID-19 Pandemic

As you may not be seeing us for some time due to the Government suspending routine dental care during COVID-19 Pandemic our dental team have put together some simple advice that you and your family can take to keep your mouths healthy over the coming months

General advice for children over 7 and adults

• Brush your teeth at least twice daily, with fluoridated toothpaste

• Brush your teeth last thing at night and at least on one other occasion

• Use fluoridated toothpaste (1,350 – 1,500 ppm fluoride)

• Spit out after brushing, do not rinse out, this maintains a fluoride concentration levels in your saliva to help strengthen teeth after brushing

• Avoid grazing and snacking on foods and drinks that contain (even small amounts of) sugar and limit the frequency and amount of sugary food and drinks to 3-4 times a day.

For further information and advice visit https://www.dentalhealth.org/preventive-care-and-oral-hygiene and for teenagers https://www.dentalhealth.org/teens-teeth

General advice for children aged 3 – 6 years

• Brush at least twice daily, with fluoridated toothpaste

• Brush last thing at night and at least on one other occasion

• Brushing should be supervised by a parent/carer as small children are still developing their dexterity and may not be thorough

• Use fluoridated toothpaste containing more than 1,000 ppm fluoride

• It is good practice to use only a ‘pea’ size amount of toothpaste

• teach children to spit out after brushing and not to rinse, this maintains a fluoride concentration levels in your saliva to help strengthen teeth after brushing

• The frequency and amount of sugary food and drinks should be reduced

• Sugar-free medicines should be recommended

For further advice and information visit https://www.dentalhealth.org/childrens-teeth

General advice for children up to age 3 years

Breast feeding provides the best nutrition for babies

• From six months of age infants should be introduced to drinking from a free-flow cup, and from age one year feeding from a bottle should be discouraged

• Sugar should not be added to weaning foods or drinks

• Parents/carers should brush or supervise tooth brushing

• As soon as teeth erupt in the mouth brush them twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste

• Brush last thing at night and on one other occasion.

• Use fluoridated toothpaste containing no less than 1,000 ppm fluoride

• It is good practice to use only a ‘smear’ of toothpaste

• Sugary food and drinks are not recommended and provide no nutrition to a growing child.

• Sugar-free medicines should be recommended

For further advice and additional advice for pregnancy please visit https://www.dentalhealth.org/dental-care-for-mother-and-baby

Diet advice for the prevention of tooth decay (dental caries)

  • Restrict the consumption of foods containing sugars to meal times only – check the ingredients of food especially processed food and snacks for sugars as ‘hidden’ sugars are frequently found in these.
  • Drinks should be restricted  to water, milk, tea / coffee without sugar in between meals only to prevent sugar being in the mouth for long periods
  • Sweet treats should be limited to meal times only – so if you fancy a cake / biscuit or sugary food have it straight after a meal as a dessert
  • Try and have sugar free snacks, including ; 
  1. Breadstick’s
  2. Vegetable sticks such as Carrot / pepper / cucumber and celery sticks with savoury dips such as humous, tzatizi and taramasalata
  3. Brown Bread Sandwiches’
  4. Savoury Crackers
  5. Cheese
  6. Savoury rice cakes

For further advice on your diet and its effect on your teeth visit https://www.dentalhealth.org/diet-and-my-teeth

Oral health advice for the prevention of Gum (Periodontal) Disease – to be used in addition to tooth decay (dental caries)  prevention

  • Consistent daily, effective plaque bacteria removal is VITAL
  • Brush gum line as well as each individual tooth with either a small headed medium tooth brush or an electric tooth brush (with a small round, oscillating head) both on the outside of your teeth and the inside surfaces
  • Clean daily between the teeth, ideally before tooth brushing
  • For small spaces between teeth: use dental floss or tape
  • For larger spaces: use interdental or single-tufted brushes

For further information and advice visit https://www.dentalhealth.org/gum-disease and there is more information https://www.dentalhealth.org/healthy-gums-and-healthy-body

References: this information was based on advice from the Delivering Better Oral Health Tool Kit (An evidence based tool kit for prevention produced by the NHS)