It is great that the lockdown is over but for safety reasons, we still need to wear a face mask. Unlike any other body accessory, there is no other way to protect yourself without wearing face masks. The restrictions on wearing masks are getting less strict, but this does not excuse you from wearing them.
Mouthwash and oral hygiene can’t replace a face mask from stopping the spread of Covid 19 and other viruses but it is important to take the time and effort to brush, floss and rinse everyday. These healthy habits can help keep the mouth fresh and protected from a disorder like mask mouth.
Mask mouth refers to a range of negative oral side effects caused by wearing masks more for long periods of time. This condition or disorder increases the risk of cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
Don’t let face masks affect your oral health. Guard your oral health while shielding yourself from viruses and bacteria. Here are some steps to take to avoid getting “mask mouth”.
Reusing disposable face masks is not economical. It is unsafe. Don’t attempt to reuse your face mask. Throw away your disposable face mask after use to avoid cross-contamination. Using this type of mask twice can boost the growth and transmission of pathogenic bacteria and the spread of viruses.1
When you are feeling dizzy or nauseous, take the time to remove your mask in a safe area. With your mask removed, concentrate on breathing deeply. Doing this gives you the chance to inhale fresher air and remove excess carbon dioxide that your mask has absorbed.
Invest in medical-grade disposable masks. Although cloth masks are less expensive and more comfortable to wear, they do not provide the same level of protection. Aside from the negative symptoms of mask mouth, such as bad breath and gum problems, a poor quality facemask may cause maskne (pimples caused by wearing masks) and skin inflammation.
When wearing a mask, make sure to exhale through your mouth and inhale through your nose. Inhaling through your nose can aid in the elimination of dirt and irritants while also increasing your oxygen levels. Mouth breathing on the other hand makes you prone to bacteria and viruses.
The body releases nitric oxide into the air when you breathe through the nose.3 Producing nitric oxide keeps the nose and mouth moist and hydrated. Releasing NO also improves oxygen circulation, increases air flow to different blood vessels, and protects the mouth from Xerostomia, or dryness.
Remember to keep your daily routine in mind before applying a face mask. Brushing, flossing, and scraping the tongue all help to remove bacteria.4 Brush your teeth gently twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and fluoride toothpaste. You can scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper. Finally, remember to floss! Flossing cleans the spaces between your teeth of food and drink residue.
We often forget to drink water and fluids because of our mask. Proper hydration benefits not only your overall health but also the maintenance of healthy saliva flow. Saliva protects your mouth from mask mouth symptoms like tooth decay and gingivitis (gum disease) by transporting food particles through your mouth, preventing most of them from becoming trapped between your teeth, where bacteria can breed.5 Additionally, it keeps your mouth moist and hydrated.
Many people find that going to the dentist twice a year is sufficient. However, if you have oral health issues such as dry mouth, tooth decay, chronic halitosis, or gum disease, you may need to schedule a discussion for a "mask mouth" cure. Consult your dentist and hygienist to evaluate your symptoms and discuss some effective products and alternative treatments.
If you think that you or a loved one may have mask breath, you can also talk to your dentist about it. As health professionals, they may recommend an antiseptic spray like Swish® Aseptic.
Swish® Aseptic is an oral antiseptic spray that does more than target bad breath; it also helps deliver extra mouth protection against certain viruses and bacteria. Using solutions like this can allow people to go about their daily activities with confidence and comfort because it acts as the first line of defense against "mask mouth" and infection-causing microorganisms that can harm overall health.
One may believe that oral health has no impact on one's overall health. However, because the mouth is the first point of contact between our immune system and the outside world, everyone should prioritize their oral health in order to boost resistance.
Kill the bacteria that causes mask mouth. Level up your on-the-go oral protection with Swish Aseptic, an oral antiseptic spray that has multi-killing action to control microorganisms. Its sugar-free and alcohol-free formula makes it a pleasing and sting-free experience to a well protected overall health. Swish® Aseptic formula can work in as fast as 10 seconds.
Swish® Aseptic also has antiplaque and antigingivitis properties that help get rid of “mask mouth” and unwanted odor caused by bad oral bacteria.
It does not contain bacteria formation-causing sugar and sting-causing alcohol that can cause dryness of the mouth. Swish® Aseptic contains 0.2% Cetylpyridinium Chloride that has multi-killing action against various unwanted and harmful microorganisms.
To use Swish Aseptic, spray two to three pumps daily into your mouth. Ideally, use this product in its undiluted form. Once done, store the product in a cool and dry place below 30ºC, away from direct light and out of reach and sight of children.
If symptoms persist, call a doctor.
1 Cambridge University Press. (2019, January 17) Cambridge.org. Retrieved November 14, 2022, from https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/antimicrobial-stewardship-and-healthcare-epidemiology/article/bacterial-contamination-on-used-face-masks-in-healthcare-personnel/565C37BF53F0D8C3A3538EB22CCA9008
2 How to Put on and Remove a Face Mask - Disease Prevention and Control, San Francisco Department of Public Health. (n.d.). Disease Prevention & Control - San Francisco Department of Public Health. Retrieved November 3, 2022, from https://www.sfcdcp.org/communicable-disease/healthy-habits/how-to-put-on-and-remove-a-face-mask/
3Taylor, C., & Nunez, K. (2021, February 1). Nose Breathing: Benefits, How To, Exercises to Try. Healthline. Retrieved November 3, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/nose-breathing
4 Donovan, J. (2016, December 16). 8 Mistakes We Make Brushing Our Teeth and How to Fix Them. WebMD. Retrieved November 3, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/brushing-teeth-mistakes
5 4 Ways Drinking Water Improves Your Smile | College of Dentistry | University of Illinois Chicago. (2017, February 23). UIC College of Dentistry. Retrieved November 3, 2022, from https://dentistry.uic.edu/news-stories/4-ways-drinking-water-improves-your-smile/