COVID-19 Dental Survival Tips
As I write this, most of us are now in "Lockdown."
This a handy guide but remember it is not a substitute for visiting the dentist when life gets back to normal! : )
At Broad Street Dental we have not closed and are available to take your calls, offering advice and if appropriate we can remotely prescribe for our patients as per guidance from the Chief Dental Officer.
There are some things that you can do during this time to maintain your dental health and when everything has settled we will do everything we can to catch up with the clinical time lost.
1. Keep your teeth clean! - This sound obvious but cleaning your teeth for 2 minutes every morning and night helps reduce plaque thats causes gum inflammation, bleeding and potentially pain. Use interdental brushes daily to remove food debris from in between your teeth and take particular care to that wisdom tooth that is only partially through! Remember what your hygienist as been saying to you at each visit.
2. Sensitive Teeth - Use a sensitive toothpaste morning and night. Do not rinse after brushing as this simply washes away the toothpaste and is no longer effective. For areas that are particularly sensitive place the sensitive toothpaste directly at the source at the margin of the gums and the tooth, leaving it on overnight.
3. Lost Fillings - These are very difficult times and if you have lost a filling ideally you should try and place a temporary filling in it's place until this can be treated. Leaving a cavity exposed can cause food packing, further fractures of the tooth, nerve exposure and pain. Placing a temporary filling as soon as possible could help prevent future pain and will protect the tooth. These are available from pharmacies and supermarkets.
4. Be careful with your food choices! - A healthy diet is important but be sensible. Watch those hard nuts on heavily restored teeth and hard sticky food on crowns and bridges. Think twice about sneaking a cheeky pork scratching now is not the time to crack a tooth!
5. How to manage pain from teeth while self-isolating?
Analgesics (pain killers)
Alternating ibuprofen and paracetamol has been found to be beneficial if you can take them both and do not any underlying medical conditions that contraindicate their use. Do not take them together but instead alternate them every 2 hours making sure you DO NOT exceed the recommended dosage.
Tip: Don't stop taking the pain killers when the pain stops (or it will come back again). Seek advice if symptoms do not improve- call us!
Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel applied to the area can help to numb the pain.
Keep your head elevated
Keep your head elevated at night when you lie down to go to sleep, the blood pressure in the tooth can increase which increases pain. An extra pillow can help keep your head elevated when you sleep.
Sometimes tooth pain can lead to swelling. A cold compress can help reduce your swollen face and can also offer some temporary pain relief.
Tip: Never put heat externally on your face as this can draw the infection into the tissues in your face causing external swellings.
6. How to manage pain from ulcers while self-isolating? - Mouth ulcers can be a sign of underlying medical conditions such as iron deficiency so shouldn't be ignored. Any mouth ulcer which doesn't heal in two weeks should be checked by a dentist.
To reduce the discomfort, you can try:
Anaesthetic gel such as Orajel
To help with healing of ulcers, you can try:
Gengigel can be effective as well as soothing the pain
7. Trauma - Please contact us immediately to assess the extent of the trauma. We may ask that you take a photo to help in the management.
If you need any advice, help or even a friendly chat during these times please call the practice on:
Andrew Farr Principal Dentist