Extra toothbrushing could help protect against coronavirus, dentist claims

From wearing a mask to regularly washing your hands, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of coronavirus.



a woman brushing her teeth with a toothbrush in her mouth


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Brushing her teeth

Now, one expert has claimed that extra toothbrushing could also help to protect you from Covid-19.

Professor Martin Addy, a dentistry professor at the University of Bristol, has called for toothbrushing to be promoted alongside hand washing.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he explained: “Toothpaste contains the same detergents as those found in handwash gels recommended.

“The antimicrobial action of toothpaste in the mouth persists for three to five hours and, thereby, would reduce the viral load in saliva or infection by viruses entering the mouth.”



The antimicrobial effect of toothpaste wears off after a few hours


© Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF
The antimicrobial effect of toothpaste wears off after a few hours

Professor Addy advises that people should brush their teeth every time they leave the house.

He added: “For the vast majority, the timing of tooth brushing should be focused when they are about to go out of their homes for exercise or shopping.

“Ideally, tooth brushing frequency should be increased.”

This isn’t the first time that Professor Addy has promoted the idea of extra toothbrushing to reduce your risk of Covid-19.

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In a previous letter to the British Dental Journal, Professor Addy said he was surprised the dental profession had not been promoting teeth brushing as a preventative approach to coronavirus.

He added that the recommended oral hygiene practice of brushing twice a day for two minutes should be reinforced.

Mr Addy said many of those who are not doing this are some of the most vulnerable to Covid-19, such as elderly people in nursing homes who rely on carers to brush their teeth.

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