For a while, it seemed as though life was going to go back to normal, but as the pandemic drags on with new variants posing new threats, masking seems to be here to stay; if not for everyone, at least for people in certain occupations and possibly students. While wearing a mask may keep you safe from breathing in germs or spreading germs to others, there are side effects to wearing a mask.
One of the major issues you should be aware of when wearing a mask for extended periods of time is dry mouth. Most people wearing a mask have a tendency to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose. This causes your mouth to become dryer than usual. A dry mouth can lead to an excessive amount of harmful bacteria living in your mouth.
Under normal circumstances, the mouth is usually closed and breathing is through the nose. Saliva production in the mouth keeps the mouth moist, bathed in liquid that washes away some of the harmful bacteria that is there. When breathing through the mouth, saliva production is reduced, thus the mouth is not as moist. Harmful bacteria have a chance to proliferate in this drier environment.
Dentists are seeing a rise in dental decay due to the increase of harmful bacteria and decrease in saliva production. Bacteria are also responsible for an increase in gum disease for those who must wear masks for long periods of time. The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce the impact of wearing a mask.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
One of the best ways to prevent dental disease is to remember to practice good oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth regularly and flossing are going to play a big role in keeping your mouth healthy. This is more important than ever now, if you must wear a mask for an extended period of time. If you are not able to brush after each meal, you may want to consider using a mouthwash to rise your mouth after eating. Also choosing foods like carrots and other crunchy vegetables and fruits will help keep your teeth a little cleaner.
Keep Your Mouth Moisturized
Since wearing a mask will contribute to dry mouth, keeping your mouth moisturized by staying hydrated will help. You can also chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy to help stimulate your saliva glands to produce more saliva.
Whenever possible, remove your mask. During breaks or whenever you get a chance, go outside and breathe in fresh air. Also remember to wear clean masks, since they also harbor germs.
Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime and with proper care, that can happen. Keep them clean with a visit to Just Brush My Teeth. Call today to schedule an appointment to have your teeth professionally cleaned.