Coronavirus and Increased Risk of Dental Infections

This coronavirus article is slightly different from the rest because it focuses on healthy snacks you should be buying to avoid dental infections during the coronavirus lockdown. However, if you want to learn more about the virus, how it spreads and how you can protect yourself from it, then click here.

You see one of the negative impacts of COVID-19 is the current state of panic it has caused within our society. This is resulting in people panic-buying and hoarding everyday items, which quite frankly isn’t going to protect you. Store shelves are empty. Many stores are out of toilet paper, hand hygiene products, rice, pasta, beans, and tuna. However, when you take a walk down the oral hygiene aisle at a local grocery store…it’s fully stocked.

dental hygiene aisle in the store during coronavirus

Let’s not forget that many people around the world will be staying at home for the next few weeks. Children are getting time off school, and parents are being forced to work from home. So you may be wondering how coronavirus and social distancing are going to result in dental infections and cavities? Well, that’s easy. Panic-buying leads to panic-eating of unhealthy snacks, especially when you’re stuck at home binge-watching Netflix while binge-eating chocolate, gummy bears and popcorn.

Healthy Snacks to Avoid Infections During the Coronavirus Lock-Down

Unfortunately, toilet paper and hand sanitizer aren’t the only items being hoarded at this time. Many shopping carts are being loaded with sugary snacks, sodas, juices, cookies, chocolates, chips, popcorn etc. Not only is the consumption of these sugary snacks bad for your teeth, but they are also extremely unhealthy for your overall health. Remember the key to avoiding the virus and/or recovering from the virus is to BE HEALTHY.

Here are healthier snacks options that you can buy for you and your family during the Coronavirus season:

  1. Apples – Let’s not forget the saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away”. Plus, apples are great snacks to buy because they can last in the fridge for WEEKS!
  2. Almonds – they are healthy, easy to store, great for your teeth and very filling.
  3. Wholewheat crackers and hummus – crackers will last in your pantry for weeks, and hummus can often be stored in the fridge for days.
  4. Carrots – they will last in the fridge for weeks. Pro tip – if you combine carrots with hummus, it’s basically heaven on Earth.
  5. Hard Cheese – this calcium filled snack is EXCELLENT for teeth and absolutely delicious with crackers. Hard cheese can often last in the fridge for 1-2 months (if sealed properly).
eat healthy snacks during the coronavirus lock-down to avoid dental infections

The Risk of Forgetting Your Oral Hygiene Routine During Coronavirus

With the recent closure of school and businesses, it’s likely that your morning and evening oral hygiene routine will be thrown off track. Truth be told, many of you might skip toothbrushing and flossing because you will either sleep-in or be too tired in the evening after binge-watching Netflix. Moreover, you will be snacking more often, because it’s natural to feel hungry when you’re bored and stuck inside your home. Unfortunately, frequent snacking and bad oral hygiene is a deadly combination. It’s the perfect time for bacteria to start forming tooth decay and infections in your mouth. In the unfortunate case where you DO test positive for coronavirus (Covid-19), you want to make sure you don’t get a dental infection because your body’s immune system will already be under attack from the virus. Therefore, it’s crucial during this coronavirus period to keep up with your toothbrushing and flossing.

toothbrush twice a day to avoid dental infections

Coronavirus Lock-Down Will Bring Families Together

The recent events in the world are unfortunate and very sad to see unfold. Therefore, take this opportunity of social distancing as an opportunity to enjoy time with your family. Watch movies, play board games, and look at old photo albums. But more importantly, don’t neglect your health. Maintain a healthy diet so you can prevent cavities and dental infections. Drinking water and maintaining hydration is also important during this coronavirus period to help flush out all toxins out of your body and your mouth.

Binge-watching netflix and binge-eating can cause dental infections


COVID-19 is a viral infection, which is spread through human-to-human contact. Unfortunately, toilet paper is not going to protect you from getting the virus. However, what WILL protect you from the virus is if you maintain excellent hand hygiene, avoid large crowds, maintain a healthy/low-sugar diet, and drink plenty of water. It’s important that we all work together to lower the burden on the healthcare system and prevent medical & dental emergencies during the nations’ lockdown period.

On a side note, if you want to prepare yourself for Coronavirus symptoms before you get forced into self-isolation, read the following article by Dr. Sanya Arora, click here.

Take-Home Message

  • During this lock-down period for the coronavirus, dental infections and cavities can develop. Thus, it’s important that the frequency of your toothbrushing & flossing outweighs your snacking frequency.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, and snack on healthy alternatives like apples, carrots, almonds, and cheese.
  • Try to take this lock-down period as an opportunity to enjoy time with your family. If you decide to binge-watch movies, then avoid snacking on popcorn (especially if you have braces) because those popcorn kernels are notorious for getting stuck in between teeth and causing dental infections.
  • Brush your teeth 2-3x a day, and floss at least once a day
  • Use mouthwash as an adjunct to brushing/flossing, and as an extra measure use a fluoridated mouthwash (often a purple color)
  • Follow recommendations to stay at home, maintain proper hygiene and limit large crowds
  • Last but not least, STOP buying toilet paper
coronavirus and toilet paper

Written by: Dr. Stephanie Colaiacovo & Dr. Sanya Arora

Stephanie Colaiacovo

Hi, I'm Stephanie! I am passionate about education and smiling. I believe we were given teeth to show them off! I hope the Dental Pen can be a place for all to learn and get tips on maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile. I achieved my DDS from New York University where I participated in research on white spot lesions focusing on the prevalence in patients and treatment modalities available. Currently, I am specializing in orthodontics at the University at Buffalo. Things that make me smile include cooking, crafting, traveling, and all things Disney.

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Coronavirus and Increased Risk of Dental Infections
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