Today, it's unlikely you'll be able to walk down the street without seeing someone wearing a mask. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has taken over, masks are now required when entering most stores or being in areas where it is impossible to be 6 feet away from other people. Made of materials like cotton or plastic, masks are the main source of protection people are relying on to protect them from the virus. Unfortunately, protecting themselves from one problem is resulting in other types of problems. From mask-ne to mask mouth, people are having to find new ways to deal with these new problems. Learn more about mask mouth and how to deal with it here.
What is Mask Mouth?
"Mask mouth" is a trendy term that highlights the effects of wearing a mask for long periods of time. According to Doctor Argona Giuseppe, "Having a cover over your mouth for a long period of time may cause various different oral issues, most of which can be prevented as long as you make sure you keep up with your usual dental routine." These oral issues can include decaying teeth, receding gum lines, and sour breath, caused by our normal dental habits such as flossing and drinking water being disrupted by wearing masks.
With masks, people tend to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose. This results in a decrease of saliva production, which is important for keeping the mouth healthy with its anti-fungal properties.
How to Prevent & Treat Mask Mouth
There are several steps that can be taken when it comes to maintaining and improving your dental health while following mask guidelines. To improve your dental health, you should:
- Floss after each meal: Use strong floss to dislodge any unwanted food particles that could end up stuck between your teeth and cause bad breath.
- Keep your mask clean: Stick to disposable masks or change your mask between outings to ensure you're not wearing masks that have old saliva on them.
- Up your dental game: Upgrade your toothbrush to an electrical one, invest in a tongue scraper and get an alcohol-free mouthwash to get the cleanest mouth possible.
- Drink plenty of water: Remember to take regular water breaks to help stimulate saliva production and flush out bacteria.
- Get some fresh air: When away from other people, take a break from wearing your mask to allow air into your mouth to keep it clean and healthy.
While wearing masks has become part of everyday life, bad breath and poor dental health doesn't have to be. Keep up with your visits to your dentist, invest in a good toothbrush, and take care of your teeth to ensure a bright future.