At Exceptional Dentistry of Delaware, we miss everyone tremendously and are hoping to see you all as soon as the Coronavirus public health threat is eliminated! In the meantime, here are some tips and tricks to help keep your teeth as healthy as possible in our absence. Stay healthy, stay safe, and we will be ready to get you back on track as soon as we can re-open for regular dental care! If you have a dental emergency or any questions, don't hesitate to call us at 302-797-1212.
Floss daily, but make sure your hands are clean! Pass the floss between the teeth and as far below the gums as possible without hurting yourself. Wrap the floss in a “C” shape up against the sides of each tooth and sweep against each tooth. If you have braces or bridges, thread the floss under them with a threader or Superfloss.
Continue to brush at least 2 times per day for 2 minutes each time. We highly recommend buying a power brush! Power toothbrushes are always more effective than manual brushing and can give you that “just saw the hygienist” feel. Spend 30 seconds in each “quadrant,” (upper right, lower right, upper left and lower left) making sure the brush is reaching every surface of every tooth.
If you know you have cavities or have had many in the past, in addition to reducing plaque, extra fluoride can slow their growth. Consider using fluoride rinses like ACT or Listerine Total Care in addition to brushing well. Most cavities are between the teeth, so floss daily to prevent food and plaque trapping between the teeth. Avoid sugary and acidic foods and drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, and sticky candies, try to limit snacking to healthy foods, such as fruits and veggies, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated!
If a crown comes out:
If your crown comes off, depending on how well it fits back on, look for a repair cement kit in the dental section of your pharmacy. Make sure you can puzzle the crown back into place before you put the cement on it, otherwise you might put it in wrong! You can also use denture adhesive, which is a little more forgiving.
Missing filling, open cavity, or broken tooth:
If you have a broken tooth or missing filling that is not just a small surface chip, look for products such as Dentemp in the dental section of your local pharmacy. These types of temporary filling materials often provide a sedative effect on sensitive tooth nerves and keep food particles from packing into the cavity and further irritating the nerve. If you have a sharp edge, you can try to smooth it very carefully with a nail file/emery board.
Most often, sensitivity is due to thinned enamel either from grinding, wear from brushing too hard, or recession of the gumline. Sensitivity is exacerbated by poor plaque control, brushing aggressively with abrasive pastes (like whitening toothpastes), and with the use of whitening products that contain peroxides. Brush lightly but thoroughly with an extra or ultra-soft brush. Use products designed to reduce sensitivity like Sensodyne and Listerine’s Sensitivity Rinse. A simple, gel toothpaste that is not gritty can also help.
If you believe you may have an infection, call us. We may need to call in an antibiotic to your pharmacy. Otherwise, pain can sometimes be managed with the temporary filling material mentioned above or with herbal remedies, such as clove oil. Dental pain also responds well to ibuprofen. However, it is currently uncertain whether ibuprofen can worsen a case of COVID-19 or not, so be very careful. Tylenol and ibuprofen can be taken together for additional pain control. Be careful not to exceed recommended doses.