People are skipping brushing their teeth while working from home

In news that will either appall you or resonate with your own lockdown habits, a survey has found that nearly a quarter of us are no longer brushing our teeth twice a day since the arrival of Covid-19.

Even more shocking: 11% of those surveyed said there are days when they don’t brush their teeth at all.

That’s down to all the time spent indoors this year, with working from home and the absence of IRL social interaction allowing us to get more than a little lax with our personal hygiene routines.

After all, if no one is around to smell you, does it really matter if you skip your morning shower or let your morning breath hang around?

Well, when it comes to your teeth, it really isn’t wise to let cleanliness fall to the wayside (but yes, you can get away with fewer showers, if you’re feeling lazy).

Dr Kailesh Solanki, a dentist at DentalPhobia, tells Metro.co.uk that even a slight decline in our dental hygiene can have damaging effects long term.

‘If you’re working from home, particularly if you’re isolating, you may feel less inclined to maintain a good level of oral hygiene by brushing twice daily and flossing,’ says Dr Solanki.

‘Over a period of time this, together with infrequent visits to the dentist, could result in a variety of problems including tooth infection, gum disease, bad breath or even tooth loss.’

Decreasing the regularity of your brushing, or not doing as thorough a job, might not seem like a big deal, but it could leave you with cavities and other issues which may become even worse in lockdown, when you might not be able to go to the dentist to get things fixed.

Basically, now, when it’s not as easy to see a professional, is the time to increase your dental care, not let it slip.

But with changes in routine and a lack of regular checkups, it’s easy for healthy habits to fall apart.

Dr Martina Hodgson, principal dentist & Invisalign doctor at The Dental Studio, adds: ‘With a lack of access to NHS dentistry currently due to coronavirus, many people have missed their routine dental examination and hygiene appointments, and therefore that regular prompt from their hygienist to clean their teeth twice a day and floss.

‘With many working from home or furloughed, for some it may be there is little incentive to follow their normal morning routine. As daily habits go by the wayside so does toothbrushing.

‘In addition, lockdown and the repercussions of the pandemic have led to an increase in anxiety and depression which may then be reflected in personal habits, perhaps not taking care of ourselves the way we would normally.’

The key to bringing back your dental hygiene in the midst of a pandemic is simple: you need to create a steady, regular routine.

You might not have your usual markers for rituals – you might no longer be waking up early to commute and no longer stick to your usual getting-ready process.

To have some structure and tackle feelings of mental unease, it’s important to reinstate some level of regular routine. It doesn’t have to be the same as before, but have a wake-up time, and follow this by doing the same essential tasks each day, including brushing your teeth.

Look after yourself and your teeth now, and you’ll avoid problems down the line – from just feeling rubbish to a painful drilling and filling session with your dentist.

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