Lockdown Causes Slips In At-Home Dental Hygiene

The pandemic has created a decline in dental patients taking their oral hygiene seriously.

Brits are not brushing their teeth twice a day according to shocking research from eco-friendly subscription box company, Floe Oral Care. Dental clinicians recommend that people brush, floss and use mouthwash twice daily as part of a positive dental hygiene routine. Yet only one in eight people have been able to stick to this regime. 44% have slipped to only brushing once daily and a worrying 18% admitted that they haven’t been brushing their teeth on a daily basis.

Why Do We Need To Brush Twice A Day?

Dentists recommend that we brush twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. When we eat food every day, the leftover food particles and bacteria accumulates in the mouth. This sticks to the teeth and is the number one way in which plaque forms. If the soft plaque isn’t cleared from the mouth with regular twice a day brushing, then this will harden and start to cause problems such as gingivitis, or gum disease. If you notice this yellow substance on your teeth, then begin brushing and flossing twice a day immediately until you can get an appointment with your dental hygienist to clear this debris.

Why Has Dental Hygiene Declined?

Lockdown is being blamed as the chief reason for a significant decline in dental hygiene. Dental surgeries were closed for a few weeks due to the pandemic, and changes to dental regulations mean that fewer appointments are now taking place. However, although it may certainly be harder to see a dentist for a general check-up or hygiene appointment, this doesn’t really justify why people have allowed their at-home dental hygiene to decline.

How Often Should You Change Your Toothbrush?

An Essex dentist explains that there are also concerns that toothbrushes aren’t being changed as regularly as they need to be. The same survey by Floe Oral Care indicates that only 32% of people switch to a different toothbrush when their current brush is out of shape. 24% tend to do this every six months. It is recommended that you change your toothbrush approximately every three to four months, but you may need to do so more regularly if the bristles become frayed. For example, children typically brush quite vigorously, so they will often need a new toothbrush before their parents do. Electric toothbrushes will just need their heads changed, but you should keep an eye on the charge of the model to ensure that the rotating motion of the brush is still up to speed.

Changing Your Brush Following Illness

It’s also important to change brushes regularly if you have been ill, and this is essential if your brush is stored near to others. If anyone in your household has tested positive for Covid-19 then it would be best practice to immediately switch to new toothbrushes and to carefully dispose of the old ones.

During the pandemic, there have been some changes in the ways that patients can access routine dental treatments. If you wish to seek advice or make an appointment, then get in touch with your dentist by phone. However, whilst you wait for treatment, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to stick to a high standard of at-home dental hygiene in order to maintain excellent oral health.