By now, you’re probably tired of reading about COVID-19 (or novel coronavirus). It has saturated every news outlet, every post in your newsfeed and every dinner conversation; but even so,…

COVID-19 And Your Dental Health Guide

COVID-19 and Dental Health

By now, you’re probably tired of reading about COVID-19 (or novel coronavirus). It has saturated every news outlet, every post in your newsfeed and every dinner conversation; but even so, you still have questions. 

As our country starts taking greater steps to quarantine and self-isolate during this time to try to minimize the spread of the virus, there are some important things to think about when it comes to your dental health.

Oral health has a great impact on our general health, and vice versa, so caring for both during this crisis is critical. That’s why we’ve put together this guide: to help answer some of your questions about coronavirus as it pertains to your dental health at home and visiting the dentist. 

Your Dental Health Guide During Coronavirus

How Will Dental Visits Change?

How Will Dental Visits Change During COVID19?

Can I Still Go to the Dentist?

While measures are being put into place by cities and states in how they respond to this pandemic, based on federal recommendations and those presented by the CDC, dental offices are getting creative in how they still see their patients.

Listed below are some of the policies being put into place by dental offices around the country (and the world) to keep patients and dental staff safe:

  • No waiting rooms. Your dental office has likely already closed their waiting areas. Instead, when you arrive at the dentist, you are taken straight back to a treatment room. This is why it’s very important to call ahead before your appointment to understand what protocols they have in place. This means toys and magazines will also be removed and your wait times should be less! 
  • Treatment and checkout take place in the treatment room. Dental offices are trying to minimize movement and contamination in their office so everything will be brought directly to you at your dental visit.
  • No-touch door handles. Some dental offices are even installing foot handles on their front doors so you don’t even need to touch the handle to the door when you arrive.
  • Sanitation teams. Dental offices are already very sanitary. They consistently wipe down areas and use gloves when they are working on your dental treatment, but they are increasing these efforts even more in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Patient screenings. Your dentist will likely ask you a few questions before your visit about where you have traveled or if you know anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If you have been exposed to the virus and have an immediate dental need, don’t let that keep you from calling your dental office to find out what you need to do.

Caring for your dental health, especially when you are sick or there is a serious illness like this going around, is so important for your overall health. The two affect each other so much so we want to be diligent to still keep up with our dental health even in the midst of this crisis. 

How Will Dentists Handle Dental Emergencies?

Dental offices across the U.S. will be ready to accept dental emergencies at their office at this time. They want to help relieve hospital emergency departments who will already be swamped.

What Is a Dental Emergency

Dental emergencies include:

  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • Knocked-out tooth
  • Tissue injury
  • Tooth abscess (or associated toothache)

If you, or someone in your family, experiences a dental emergency and you do not have a plan that can help you, please call us at 800-372-7615 or visit our website. You can purchase a dental savings plan and save on your dental work TODAY!

Our plans are affordable, easy to use and you have the added benefit of being able to use it IMMEDIATELY for whatever work you need.

Just visit a dentist in our network within your area and tell them you have the Careington 500 or Dental Access plan.

We are equipped and ready to help you get savings even in a dental emergency.

What Should I Do About Planned Dental Visits and Treatments During this Time?

Did you have a dental visit planned this week or in the coming weeks but are unsure of what to do next? Call your dental office to find out what they would recommend.

Your dentist will be able to provide a better recommendation about your current treatment status and the state of coronavirus precautions in your area.

Should I Visit the Dentist Right Now If I’m a Senior?

Unfortunately, seniors and those with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk of complications if exposed to novel coronavirus and have been advised to stay home during this pandemic. 

If you fall into either one of these categories and you have a dental emergency or another dental need, please call your dental office right away, remind them of your concerns of being exposed to COVID-19 and ask for their recommendation on how you can get help. 

Will Coronavirus Affect At-Home Dental Care?

How to Keep Toothbrush Clean When Sick

How Do Respiratory Viruses and Colds Affect My Oral Health?

How to Fight Dry Mouth When SickOften, these illnesses force us to breathe through our mouth more than our nose, which causes dry mouth. Additionally, the medications we usually take to help colds and respiratory viruses can reduce saliva flow, contributing to even worse dry mouth. 

Dry mouth promotes the growth of bacteria in your mouth, which increases your chances of developing tooth decay and gum disease.

To combat dry mouth while also treating your cold or coronavirus symptoms:

  • Keep water or juice nearby and sip frequently to keep your mouth lubricated
  • Suck on sugar-free cough drops or chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva flow
  • Run a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air and soothe your dry throat
  • Use a saline nasal spray to help clear nasal passages

Also remember to brush and floss your teeth daily to maintain good oral health.

How Can I Make Sure My At-Home Dental Products (Toothbrushes, Mouthwash, etc.) Stay Germ-Free?

  • Make sure your toothbrush has a separate holder
  • Don’t share mouthwash
  • Wash your hands before flossing your teeth
  • Replace your toothbrush after you have been sick

During the coronavirus pandemic or any cold or respiratory virus you experience, you should take some extra steps in safeguarding your at-home dental products to decrease the risk of reinfecting yourself or infecting others. Below are some quick and easy tips you can follow to keep your dental products germ-free: 

  1. Make Sure Your Toothbrush Has a Separate Holder
    Studies have shown that putting your toothbrush in the same holder as another family member can actually spread bacteria from one brush to the other. Especially when experiencing a contagious illness like COVID-19 or the flu – but even on a regular basis – you should keep your toothbrush in a separate holder from other family members’ toothbrushes.

  2. Don’t Share Mouthwash
    You’ve seen the HUGE bottles of mouthwash you can get from the store. If you’ve thought it’s okay to share the cap when getting mouthwash from the bottle, think again. To reduce the spread of this virus or other infections, pour your mouthwash into a disposable paper cup or plastic cup only you use. If using a plastic, reusable cup, make sure you thoroughly clean it every couple of days.

  3. Wash Your Hands Before Flossing Your Teeth
    Before you floss your teeth, make sure your hands have been thoroughly washed and cleaned. The easiest way to spread infection is touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands. Wash your hands before handling your floss.

  4. Replace Your Toothbrush After You Have Been Sick
    If you’re a bit of a germophobe like me, you may be wondering at what point you should change your toothbrush if you have novel coronavirus or another illness, like the flu or a cold. Advice on this subject is actually split:

What Should I Do If I Get Sick with Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

What Should I Do If I Get Sick?

Whether you have received a positive COVID-19 test back, have symptoms of the virus or believe you could have been exposed to novel coronavirus, here are some steps to follow, according to the CDC, to prevent the spread of the virus: 

  • Stay home. People who are mildly ill will be able to recover at home but need to prevent the spread of the disease to others. The CDC is advising all individuals to stay home whenever possible and limit exposure to others.
  • Stay in touch with your doctor. Call your doctor before you get medical care, or consider using a telemedicine service to visit the doctor without having to go to a physical office for care. If they believe you have COVID-19 symptoms, they will likely recommend you go to a facility nearby to get tested. Many facilities will need some notice before your arrival so they can preapre and prevent potential spread of the virus at that facility.
  • Avoid public transportation. 
  • Stay away from others as much as possible and create a designated sick room in your home. 
  • Limit contact with pets and animals. 

Can I Go to the Dentist If I Have a Dental Emergency and Have COVID-19?

This has not received much discussion just yet. Presumably, COVID-19 contagions are only present 2-14 days from exposure but a lot is still unknown about the virus.

CDC is recommending quarantine until you receive 2 negative COVID-19 tests back (taken 24 hours apart). If you happen to experience a dental emergency within this timeframe, contact your dentist and make them fully aware of the situation so they understand what is at risk and how they might be able to help you given your situation.

Our dental plans can be used in the midst of a dental emergency if you need care right away. Call our office or sign up online to get access to a plan immediately.

Where Can I Find Affordable Dental Care If I Lose My Job?

Where Can I Find Affordable Dental Care If I Lose My Job?

Sadly, our economy is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. If you have already experienced or anticipate job loss in the coming months as a result of COVID-19, we can help answer at least one uncertainty for you: where you can find affordable dental care for you and your family.

At, we offer affordable dental savings plans for individuals and families. So even when things are uncertain, you can trust that you’ll be able to have affordable dental care with our plans that can be used immediately at an in-network dentist near you. 

If you have more questions about coronavirus and how it pertains to your dental health, refer to the American Dental Association (ADA) for their recommendations and then leave us any additional questions you have in the comments below. 

Natasha is 1Dental’s managing editor and copywriter, focusing content on dental and health news, advice and tips straight from the experts. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication and has since been a book editor and now copywriter and managing editor on dental and health. You can find her on Twitter and all of 1Dental’s social networks.

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