Coronavirus: Maintain good oral hygiene. (Source: Getty Images)
The Indian Dental Association recently issued an advisory recommending dentists in the country to suspend "non-essential or non-urgent dental care" up to March 31, 2020. With the increasing number of coronavirus cases, experts are advising people to take necessary precautions to reduce the risk of infection.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Dr Sageer Azaz, HOD, Dental, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, explained, "Dentists work around the area that can potentially transmit the most -- the mouth, teeth and around the nose. These areas are unavoidable during the treatment. So it is a risk both for the dentist and the patient." He added, "Indian Dental Association has taken the right decision to put routine dental procedures on hold for now. The best thing would be to consult the dentist over the phone who can recommend some home remedies."
Some of the machines and equipment used in dental treatment produce aerosol or tiny water droplets in the air, said Dr Arvind Thakur, head of the department of dentistry, Fortis Hospital, Mulund. "Aerosol may be infected so inhaling those droplets only increases the risk. It is therefore beneficial both for the dentist and patient to avoid non-urgent dental treatment during this time."
The doctors suggested that one should especially avoid visiting dental departments functioning out of hospitals to minimise exposure to infection while making space for other infected patients who need immediate care. Visit the dentist only in case of an emergency health issue, they advised.
The most common dental issue is toothache, for which you can have paracetamol. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)
Tips for dental care at home
Maintaining a good oral hygiene is important for boosting immunity and fighting the virus, Dr Azaz said. Here are some dental care tips you can practise at home, as suggested by the doctors.
1. One can follow standard dental care procedure at home. Avoid consuming food that is too hot or too cold if you are sensitive so that the pain does not aggravate. Diet control is crucial.
2. One should also avoid applying pain relief balms topically or it can increase the swelling.
3. Brush your teeth twice daily or use medicated mouthwashes. There are some pastes for tooth sensitivity also that can be used to keep the infection under control meanwhile, till the time you visit a dentist.
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Clean the toothbrush properly after use to ensure it is not contaminated.
5. The most common dental issue is toothache, for which you can have paracetamol. Consult the dentist if there is uncontrolled pain who can recommend the required cure.