During the COVID-19 Outbreak, Beware of Snacks’ ‘Siren Song’
With over a million cases worldwide (and counting) and more than 5,000 cases in Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly restricted dental practices like our own to treating only emergencies. Treatments that involve aerosols are particularly dangerous since aerosol transmission is one of the primary ways the virus passes from one person to another.
With routine dental treatments ground to a halt due to the outbreak, dentists all over Australia have cautioned their patients to take extra care of their pearly whites. Last month, we published several of those precautions for our patients.
Resist the Temptation to Snack When Working at Home
There is one more thing that our dental staff — as well as a growing number of dentists all over the country — have noticed: an increase in Australians’ consumption of junk food and between-meal snacks. With more Australians working from home due to the virus, people are falling victim to an unexpected enemy — the “siren song” of the pantry, as one dentist put it.
Whether it’s worry about the virus itself or the strain and stress of working at home, people are eating their feelings, and that can take a toll on your oral health. And, as we pointed out last month, maintaining good oral health is essential to having a well-functioning immune system.
Find Healthy Alternatives to Junk Food
It doesn’t matter whatever your so-called drug of choice is — be it a bowl of chocolates or a bottle of Shiraz. It’s easy to reach for food and drink to soothe all the ills the day has brought: the crashing Internet; the dog whining as you held a teleconference with an important client; the kiddies bursting into the home office just as you managed to find your work-from-home groove.
Exercise instead of eating sweets. Drink more water and less alcohol and soda. When stress hits, play soothing music, read an inspiring book, or step out into the sunshine and take several calming breaths if you’re not allowed to take a walk. After all, the sun’s vitamin D not only boosts your mood but also helps your body absorb calcium, a key component of teeth and bones.
It gets even better. Vitamin D also helps boost your immune system. So if you’re going out for a quick stroll, keep your distance from other walkers — you’ll find that nature is the best stress reliever of all.
However, if the siren song becomes too hard to resist, then be sure to brush and floss. The sugars in chocolate and the acids in wine and soda can wreak havoc on your teeth.
If you really must munch on something, reach for a tray of veggies instead. And remember to brush and floss your teeth afterwards — we can’t stress this enough!
Although we’re only open for emergency dental procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak, we at Integrity Dental want you to know we’re here for you with advice. If you do have an emergency or need a little expert advice about how to maintain good dental health, get in touch with us today.