As family dentists, Dr. Norman Sommers and Dr. Adam Sommers provide all facets of general dentistry. Parents appreciate our sensitivity to the unique needs of children. We partner with parents to help them set children on a path to lifelong oral health.Learn More >
March 24, 2020
Life can be stressful enough on a regular basis, but with the COVID-19 pandemic enveloping America, many people are experiencing even more anxiety than normal. In such tense times, it may be tempting to participate in some activities that may not be the best for your oral health. It’s important to keep in mind that the COVID-19 storm will eventually dissipate, and you’ll soon be back to leading a normal life. Thus, as part of planning for the future, it’s important to protect your teeth and gums. Read on to discover what bad dental habits you should be avoiding and learn some better coping mechanisms!
Say “No” to Tobacco
Whether chewed or smoked, tobacco releases harmful toxins that can contribute to accelerated plaque growth. The sticky substance can encourage acute pain related to tooth decay or gum disease. From an aesthetic perspective, you can even develop stubborn stains that leave you hesitant to smile.
An excellent alternative to smoking is to find a new hobby. By igniting your creative mind, you can redirect your cravings for tobacco and help to calm your anxieties.
If you’re prone to biting your fingernails when you’re under stress, then it’s worth rethinking this method of coping. That’s because your teeth aren’t designed to bite into such a hard and brittle surface. Even if you’ve been doing this for years without incident, there’s a chance that you could chip or crack a tooth.
Here are some safe alternatives to try out:
- Breathing exercises
- Laughing and having fun
- Listening to calming music
While you’re sheltering in place and dealing with any heightened anxiety, sugary snacks may be calling your name, but the potentially negative outcomes aren’t worth it. It so happens that sugar is the preferred food of oral bacteria. Thus, the more desserts, candy and other processed sweets you consume, the greater your chances are of enduring a painful toothache.
One way to control sugar cravings is to increase your protein intake. In doing so, you can control your blood glucose levels, which will help to mitigate your urges. Some excellent protein sources are chicken, turkey, fish, nuts and cheese.
In addition to making adjustments in how you cope with the stresses related to COVID-19, it’s of the utmost importance that you maintain excellent oral hygiene. At least two times a day, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth. Your consistent efforts will help to sustain your oral health until you can once again visit your dentist for preventive care.
About the Author
Dr. Norman C. Sommers is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. He also received advanced postgraduate training from the Midwest Implant Institute, and he is certified in CEREC CAD/CAM dentistry. Currently, Dr. Sommers is only available to provide emergency dental care, but soon as the COVID-19 crisis subsides, he’ll once again be offering a full array of dental services at Sommers Family Dentistry. He can be reached for more information through his website.
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