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Written by Tabitha Acret, Dental Hygienist

As we continue to live and work within the confines of our own home, we start to make greater observations on the good, the bad, and the ugly aspects of life.

Unfortunately, many have fallen victim to job loss during this global pandemic, or are having to adapt to a new routine, where work meets home life. Some will be self-isolating alone and loving the extra time to relax and some will be feeling quite lonely without physical interaction from friends and family.

Personally, I am lucky to have this time at home with my son, however I am learning to balance working from home, with childcare and everyday life. For some of you it will build stronger relationships and for others it will shine a light on the cracks. However, no matter what the situation is, it’s hard, new, and comes with its challenges. There will have been good days, hard days and maybe even some days you’re not proud of. It’s all about learning to flex, and finding that balance.

One thing we can take from this period of time is that while we are physically alone, we are all in this together as a community, as a nation, worldwide. This pandemic has touched every aspect of our lives. Some things may never go back to how they were, but for now we will appreciate the simple things like picnics in the park or the spontaneity of catching up with loved ones. For Australians it has shone a spotlight on just how lucky we are. We have healthcare, a system to fall back on unlike some of our neighbours. It has really highlighted how important personal health is, knowing that those more susceptible to contracting disease are the ones that suffer with health issues. Now is the time to re-evaluate what healthy choices we make and how we look after our bodies.

I can’t speak for everyone but whilst I am more aware of the importance of my health, I am also fighting a battle with my kitchen. Baking and eating have provided comfort, activity, and a way to connect with others on social media. Sharing the images of baked goods and sweets with friends and family, and seeing posts of foods I want to re-create has also fostered some special moments in the kitchen with my son. Whilst I have enjoyed it, my profession also makes me think twice about the negative effects of high sugar intake and constant snacking. This change of diet and an increase in sugars can cause dysbiosis in our mouth leading to decay and cavities.

Decay in our mouths is a time related process, the bacteria begins to develop in the presence of sugar and other fermentable carbohydrates. This creates oral dysbiosis, which causes staining on the tooth and a softening of the enamel to form cavities. Medical intervention at this stage is always required, but here are a few steps you can implement into your routine to reduce the risk of decay:

  1. Limit your sugar intake – you could even try baking with sugar alternatives such as erythritol
  2. Try not to snack on sugary foods – consider timing and enjoy them as a snack after meals so your palette and teeth aren’t as shocked by the acids
  3. Regular home care – brush your teeth twice daily and in between once a day
  4. Invest in fluoride toothpaste – this helps to strengthen your teeth and fight against decay
  5. Early diagnosis can arrest or reverse early oral health issues – visit your dental professional regularly to have your teeth checked and professionally cleaned

As restrictions ease it is more important than ever to re-establish regular visits with your dental professional. Treatments such as the AIRFLOW© Dental Spa use high pressure water and fine sweet powder (based on erythritol) to both brighten and strengthen your teeth. The most efficient way to remove lasting stains and excess plaque that may have built up over the past few months. These are simple steps that can help you maintain a healthy mouth, and in turn your overall health.

Stay safe and keep brushing.  

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