COVID-19 INFORMATION

Practicing Good Oral Health

04/24/2020

At APD, we’ve always cared about your health. But how should you stay healthy when everything is suddenly so different?
Welcome to Community Care News, a free resource from APD designed to help you know how to stay healthy as a very different future unfolds for all of us. Here we will share tips about food, exercise, sleep, and other issues important to improve your health in simple but important ways every day.

Community Care News Edition #3: Practicing Good Oral Health

Many of us are experiencing a very different daily routine. Some are working from home while others are not working at all. Some are homeschooling our children while others are adapting to the loss of socialization. And nearly all of us are simply trying to establish new daily routines.

While adjusting to a new routine, it’s easy to forget important parts of our old routine—such as taking care of our teeth and gums. The health of your mouth, teeth, and gums can affect your general health, so let’s definitely not neglect them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Good oral hygiene helps prevent against cavities and gingivitis. Did you know that it also helps prevent against other diseases and conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and pneumonia? That’s why it’s incredibly important to care of your mouth.

Encourage everyone in your household to take the following steps for excellent dental hygiene.

  1. Brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day with a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste. To allow the fluoride to stay on your teeth and strengthen enamel, do not rinse after brushing.
  2. Floss once every day, ideally before brushing.
  3. Change your toothbrush every three months, as well as any time after you have been sick.

Flossing is critical to a healthy mouth.

The benefits of flossing are clear: Flossing removes plaque from the surface of your teeth, which helps prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Plus, flossing makes your teeth whiter. It’s also very inexpensive, readily available, and a simple procedure. Unfortunately, estimates say only about 40% of Americans floss every day. While we are at home, reestablishing a commitment to flossing every day would be a good practice to adopt.

Upper Valley Smiles is ready to treat your kids next school year!

For more than 10 years, APD's Community Health Department has offered Upper Valley Smiles, a free dental health program for children in local public schools. Each year, we visit elementary schools in New Hampshire (Lebanon, Enfield, Canaan) and Vermont (Hartford and Hartland). At these schools, we provide classroom education, dental screenings, fluoride varnish, decay-stopping varnish, and sealant applications. We’re looking forward to returning to these schools next year as soon as they reopen. 

Program Coordinator Rebecca Courtemanche says, “We understand how crucial Upper Valley Smiles is for families in the Upper Valley and can’t wait to get back to work treating kids and educating them about oral health.” You can read more about Upper Valley Smiles here.

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