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The Importance of Maintaining Dental & Oral Health During the Pandemic


Since the Covid-19 pandemic occurred in Indonesia, people have been washing their hands and using hand sanitizers twice as often as brushing their teeth and using mouthwash (Ministry of Health, 2021). According to the 2018 survey results, people have a habit of brushing their teeth twice a day, but, nowadays, most people admit to not brushing their teeth all day and choose to avoid going to the dentist. This has led to a decline in people's dental care habits.1

One of the impacts of lack of dental care is caries. According to the Andalas Journal of Public Health, caries or cavities is a dental tissue disease characterized by tissue damage, starting from the tooth surface and extends towards the pulp. This disease can be caused by excessive sugar consumption and lack of dental health care. The bacteria that function in the process of caries is Streptococcus Mutans, because it can make saliva acidic faster by fermenting sucrose (another name for the sugar we consume every day).2

In addition to dental caries, some other effects of lazy brushing are:3

  1. Gingivitis
    This disease that causes red, swollen and bleeding gums can be caused by infections from bacteria.
  2. Bad breath
    Bad breath usually comes from lazy brushing and the presence of other dental diseases.
  3. Periodontitis
    Just as plaque is the beginning of cavities, gingivitis is the beginning of periodontitis. This is a severe infection that affects the bones that supports our teeth. It is the leading cause of tooth loss.

Maintaining oral hygiene is important, especially during this pandemic. The oral cavity is the gateway for germs to enter. Therefore, we must maintain its cleanliness to avoid the possibility of problems in the teeth and mouth.

There are still many people who think that brushing teeth is done before breakfast, while the correct thing is after breakfast and before bed. What is the correct brushing technique?

Here's how:4

  1. Position the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, starting with an up and down motion on each tooth with the jaw closed.
  2. Brush the back, top and bottom teeth in a gentle back and forth motion with your mouth open.
  3. Make sure to brush the entire tooth surface.
  4. Clean the tongue by brushing gently to remove bacteria and freshen breath.

After brushing our teeth, we can also maintain oral hygiene with the use of mouthwash. Other benefits of using mouthwash depend on the type of mouthwash, such as preventing the formation of dental plaque, preventing cavities, preventing bad breath, making breath fresher, and so on.


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