5 tips to maintain good oral hygiene in the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken us all by surprise and has pushed us on the back foot. Such is the enormity of the challenge that our daily routines have gone for a toss, which we blissfully took for granted.

As the chaos settles and acceptance sets in, the only certain thing in these uncertain times is how we choose to respond to external stimuli, either proactively or reactively. This assumes even more importance; given the glut of information available on social media. One must filter the correct information and make sensible choices.  Naturally, this is easier said than done. The key is to try and maintain an optimum immunity level and most importantly- a healthy state of mind.

One of the most important aspects of our daily routine is maintaining good oral hygiene. Unfortunately, this is also the most neglected. But a dental emergency can completely catch you unawares and give you painful and sleepless nights. As much as dentists would love to see their patients and help relieve their discomfort, this pandemic demands that dentists only perform dental emergency procedures and defer or postpone all non-essential care including regular dental check-ups,  teeth cleaning, minor fillings, and cosmetic work.  Dentists are ethically obliged to not perform any elective (non-emergency) dental procedures during this time so as to reduce any chances of cross-infection that may happen due to the crowding of patients in the dental clinic. Additionally, this helps in reducing strain on the nationwide supply of PPE kits meant for frontline health workers.

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Dr. Aabha Agarkar

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