First, there was maskne. Now, there’s mask … mouth? Dentists are noticing a pattern these days. Clients come in with more signs of tooth decay, and breath that peels the paint off the walls (not really, but, you get it). Is this really tied to wearing a mask all day? Celebrity (and Kourt’s personal) Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Kevin Sands shared some facts with us.
It’s true indeed that wearing a mask dries out your skin and your mouth. That sounds counterintuitive, since we know things are, ehem, moist, in there. And not in a good way. The excess sweat and condensation from our breath definitely make for a damp environment teeming with bacteria. But what we don’t realize is that this actually leeches moisture from the skin, and—you guessed it—the mouth, causing dry skin and mouth when the mask is removed. The result can be some seriously sour breath.
Obviously, Dr. Sands advises, “Don’t forget to floss and brush your teeth. You still have to remove your mask to kiss your bae.” Thanks for that, Dr. Sands. Hoping we still have a bae now that we’ve got our maskne under control… Dr. Sands also advises us that “chewing sugarless gum can keep your breath fresh and your mouth hydrated,” as well as the crevices between your teeth nice and clean.
While these tips may seem obvious to some, a lot of us may be letting healthy hygiene habits slide while in quarantine, and the mask gives us a false sense of security since it covers up the issue. Unfortunately, it also exemplifies it. We actually need to up the ante on our oral hygiene, and Dr. Sands suggests brushing and flossing up to three times a day, instead of the typically recommended two times a day.
Trying out products like a water flosser can have a huge impact on the health of our gums and teeth while they remain trapped behind our masks. Staying hydrated and keeping the sugary, acidic foods to a minimum is also crucial to prevent tooth decay and bad breath during this time. And don’t skip your biannual dentist visit. Opt for a deeper clean whenever possible.
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