Can Wearing a Mask Cause Cavities? • Silverdale, WA
Can Wearing a Mask Cause Cavities?
Can Wearing a Mask Cause Cavities?
Even though 2020 is over and we can start to leave a lot of that crazy year behind us, one thing remains a constant in our everyday lives — face masks. Masks have become commonplace throughout the United States to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and are seen everywhere we go. From grocery stores to department stores, facemasks are here to stay (at least for a little while longer). But daily, long-term use of masks may cause some concerns for your dentist in Silverdale.
*An Important Note About Facemasks
Before we dive any further, we need to be clear that what we’re about to discuss does not outweigh the importance of continuing to wear a mask when in public or around other people. Please continue wearing masks when appropriate and use the provided tips to help combat any concerns we cover herein.
Most of us were not used to ever wearing a mask, let alone wearing them daily and for hours at a time. Because of this, some of our bodies needed to adjust to this new norm. One of the most common ways we adjusted was to start breathing out of our mouths instead of our noses. However, while this type of breathing may feel more comfortable, it is what concerns your dentist in Silverdale.
Mouth breathing, whether due to wearing a mask or for other reasons such as a stuffy nose, can quickly dry out saliva. This reduction in saliva will cause our mouths to dry out and feel uncomfortable. But the discomfort of dry mouth isn’t the only thing that’s concerning. Without saliva, bad bacteria and acids are left behind which can increase the risk of decay and other problems.
Bad Breath & Cavities
The bacteria and acid buildup that often occurs as a side effect of dry mouth puts our teeth at risk for decay and cavities. Since dangerous acid is left behind and not neutralized by saliva, the acid can wear away at the enamel, making it easy for bacteria to settle in and cause cavities. Additionally, these same bacteria will feed on anything left behind in the mouth and continue to produce even more acid, and the cycle continues. What’s more, is these bacteria will also produce a smelly byproduct and can cause bad breath.
Avoiding Dry Mouth
Now, while the above may seem concerning, the good news about all of this is that your dentist in Silverdale knows of some simple things you can do to reduce the risk of dry mouth and the concerns that go along with it including:
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep the mouth hydrated and moist.
Sucking on sugar-free hard candies or chewing gum with Xylitol. Both of these tricks can stimulate saliva production.
Brushing and flossing every day to help remove bacteria buildup.
Dry mouth can be more than uncomfortable, but there are ways your dentist in Silverdale can help. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today to find the best dry mouth solution for you.
As of May 19th we are open for full-service, non-urgent dental treatment.
Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:
You will be notified via text, email or a phone call in regard to your upcoming visit and our new check-in procedures.
Our office will communicate with you to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office. We will also take your forehead temperature when you arrive at our office.
We ask that you please wear a mask covering your nose and mouth when you arrive.
We want to minimize the number of patients in our waiting room and operatories, so unless necessary, please have accompanying people wait in the car during your appointment.
We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at (360)692-9560.
Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.
Sincerely, Dr. Jason Niemeyer, Dr. Jeffrey Phillips and the rest of the SDC team (360)692-9560