It’s no secret that we’ve given up a lot of things during lockdown, I mean who even bothers with pants anymore? And PJs are totally daywear, but did you know that half of us have also given up brushing our teeth? Ewww.
The team at HCF have conducted a survey for Dental Week and the findings have been a little bit dirty. It seems that we’re not picking up our toothbrushes in a hurry. A surprising 50 per cent of Aussies admit to skipping brushing their teeth during lockdown.
So who are the culprits? Well, it’s not us parents. Phew. The survey revealed, “Aussies with kids are home under 18 were more likely than those who do not to delay or skip brushing teeth at least once a week.” If we don’t bother to brush our teeth, then we know our kids won’t bother either, right?
It may come as no surprise, but men are brushing less than women. And the state that has given up brushing the most, Victoria. Understandable though, when they’ve been through so many lockdowns.
Over 2.7 million of those surveyed revealed they skip brushing daily when in lockdown, that’s a whole lot of bad breath. Speaking of bad breath, a big percentage of people (1.9 million) remembered to brush their teeth after putting on a mask, and being offended by their own breath.
Skipped brushing? Here’s how to get back on track
Watch the snacks: “Every time we eat or drink, the digestion process starts in the mouth. If you constantly snack you don’t give your saliva time to work which could result in more acid in the mouth and more sensitivity and decay,” Dr Ho said.
Skip the sugar: Dr Ho said food high in sugar can significantly damage tooth enamel. “The best drink for your teeth is water,” he said.
Take time to de-stress: “Lockdown has put us in many stressful situations like home schooling, working from home, and not enjoying social activities. People who are more stressed may tend to clench their teeth and get jaw ache, so try some strategies to reduce stress for the sake of your smile as well as your mental health.”
Find a new daily routine: Dr Ho said people should be mindful of skipping healthy habits just because they’re no longer commuting to work or leaving the house. “Don’t blame lockdown for skipping brushing your teeth; rather, use it as an excuse to spend more time on your health and implement a routine to help get you back on track,” Dr Ho said.
“If you’re not used to flossing, then now is the time to start – daily flossing helps to reduce dental decay, gum disease, and even bad breath by cleaning between the teeth where your brush may not reach. Brushing your tongue and roof of your mouth also helps prevent bad breath, so your friends and family will benefit too!”
Make an appointment to visit your dentist: Lastly, Dr Ho recommended people make a plan to visit their dentist when restrictions ease. “It’s something to look forward to for the sake of your health,” Dr Ho said.
Are you still brushing daily? Or twice daily? Will you be in trouble with your dentist next time you see them?