If you're preparing for a surgical procedure or have already undergone one, you may spend a lot of time cooped up in bed recovering. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to care for your teeth, especially if you're in pain. If you're required to stay in bed or it's too painful to get up regularly to brush your teeth, try these tips to maintain your oral hygiene.
Take a Swish
If you're going to be eating in bed, one of the best things you can do is to rinse your teeth after you eat. This tip doesn't require any special tools; just swish some clean water around in your mouth after you eat to loosen up stuck-on food. You can just drink the water after swishing it around through your teeth.
Avoid Sugar and Acid
Sugary and acidic foods can cause serious damage to your teeth if you're not regularly brushing and flossing. Try to avoid drinking or eating anything containing high levels of sugar and acids. This means that foods like fruit, soda, and coffee should be kept to a minimum. If you have to consume these foods, make sure to rinse with water immediately afterwards.
Brush From Bed
You might be surprised to learn that you can brush your teeth in bed without using toothpaste, and that it may even improve your overall oral health. One study discovered that patients who brushed their teeth with a dry brush and no toothpaste experienced a 67% drop in plaque on their rear teeth, and 50% less gum bleeding due to gingivitis.
Brushing with toothpaste has a lot of benefits, like freshening your breath and strengthening your teeth with fluoride. However, if you don't have easy access to a sink or basin to spit out your toothpaste and rinse afterwards, dry brushing will keep your mouth healthy.
If you haven't yet undergone surgery, you might consider talking to your dentist about having dental sealants applied to your teeth. Dental sealants act as an extra layer of protection against bacteria and plaque. If you're going to be stuck in bed for a long time, dental sealants are a great way to reduce your risk of cavities and decay while you're recovering.
Being stuck in bed after surgery is inconvenient, but you can still take good care for your teeth. Follow these steps to reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease while you recover from your surgical procedure. Click here for more information.