We all know wearing a mask is an important way to help keep each other healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, “mask mouth” is a smelly condition too many people have come to know. The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) has some tips to stay fresh under your mask. You guessed it – good dental hygiene and getting regular dental check-ups go a long way in preventing bad breath
Brush : Brushing your teeth at least twice a day will help keep your mouth clean and free of bacteria that leads to cavities and gum disease. Just make sure you wait 30 minutes after eating before you start brushing so there’s no damage to your enamel.
Floss : With all the snacking going on these days, remember floss is boss! Flossing gets to places your toothbrush can’t reach and removes bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Tongue : Depending on what you eat, your tongue can hold a lot of food residue so be sure to give it a good brush or scrape to help keep your breath fresh.
Mouthwash : Swishing with a mouthwash before you put your mask on can help keep odors at bay, just make sure it’s alcohol-free so your mouth doesn’t get dried out.
Water : Staying hydrated with flat water is the best way to keep your mouth moisturized and to neutralize any leftover acid and wash away debris from food and beverages. Some medications can also cause dry mouth which allows bacteria to multiply even faster. Ask your dentist about it.
Alcohol, smoking, marijuana and vaping : Over-indulging in these habits can lead to dry mouth, inflammation, enamel damage, staining and even oral cancer. Try to cut back or quit, if you can.
ODA President, Dr. Lesli Hapak says, “Since dental health is a big part of overall health and well-being, it’s worth taking the time and effort to brush and floss every day. It’s good for you and you’ll smell fresher under the mask! ”
For up to date information is Covid-19 dental tips and what to expect at your next dental appointment, go to www.oda.ca