In our practice, we believe that a smile is the prettiest thing you can wear. Yet, with the craziness of 2020, many people have to cover up their smiles with masks and face-coverings. While we are not here to argue the effectiveness of masks, we do want to help you protect your smile from “mask mouth”.
Mask mouth is a new dental condition that dentists across the United States are diagnosing in many patients. Even patients with excellent dental records have been coming into dental practices with signs of severe oral health conditions. At Engineered Smiles, we want to help your entire family avoid the damaging effects of wearing masks.
Your mouth needs plenty of fresh air, and it needs to stay moist, and wearing a mask for extended periods prevents both. Below are tips to keep your mouth healthy as we all continue to navigate the continuous struggles of 2020.
How to Protect Your Smile
- Drink lots of water. Most people did not consume an adequate amount of water before they had to wear a mask during the day, and now that the mouth is covered up, even fewer people are consuming enough water. Set a timer to remind you to drink a few sips of water every 15-20 minutes so that you are drinking at least 8 oz of water every hour. A dry mouth is a breeding ground for harmful oral bacteria, so keep your mouth moist by upping your water intake.
- Chew sugar-free gum. Another way to keep your mouth moist is to chew gum regularly. Gum helps your mouth produce saliva, which will help wash away harmful bacteria. It is essential that you choose sugar-free gum so that you are not promoting the development of cavities!
- Take your mask off frequently. If you must wear a mask at work for hours at a time, please take multiple breaks outside where you can remove your mask. Breathing in through your mouth exacerbates dry mouth and serious oral conditions that occur.
- Brush your teeth as often as possible. Keep a toothbrush and toothpaste with you at all times so that you can make frequent trips to the bathroom to brush your teeth. We encourage you to brush after every meal, snack, and every beverage that you consume other than water.
At Engineered Smiles, we are here for you during the craziness of 2020 and throughout the future. Please contact our practice to learn more about protecting your smile from mask mouth or to schedule an appointment.