US Reporter

Keeping Your Mouth Clean (klēn ) in a Crisis

For the first time ever in history, dental offices across the nation were closed for months for routine dental work and cleanings because of the COVID crisis. As most of the world is still trying to minimize their exposure to the virus, it has left many at home wondering what they can do on their own to keep their teeth healthy and looking as good as possible.  

1. Get Back to the BASICS: 

I know you are tired of hearing it, but the best thing you can do right now at home is to brush and floss two times a day.  Cavities form because of sugar digesting bacteria which leave behind acids on the teeth which create cavities. Brushing your teeth can remove these bacteria and the plaque that contains the bacteria. Most of us brush every day because its a social norm and we want our teeth to look and feel good.  Try to look for toothpaste with more natural ingredients and ones with a low RDA value.  The RDA value is what measures how braised a toothpaste is. Toothpaste with higher RDA values can wear the enamel of the teeth and make them sensitive and can also be damaging to the gums. The klēn Natural Mint whitening toothpaste is a great example of this with an RDA value of 67. 

Flossing is something that people struggle with because it is cumbersome and time consuming.  The most important reason to floss is to break up the bacteria that sit in-between the teeth.  If the bacteria is not disturbed, cavities will form between the teeth and if not treated they can lead to more serious dental problems. Flossing also helps us clean out the bacteria under the gums which prevents red and inflamed gums and gum disease. 

Use an alcohol free mouth rinse.  Many over the counter mouth rinse brands contain alcohol which give us that nice burning sensation but at the same time that alcohol dries out the mouth. Dry mouth is one of the leading causes of cavities and bad breath so stay away from rinses that contain alcohol.  The klēn Natural Mint mouth rinse is made from natural ingredients and essential oils and it also happens to be alcohol free.

2. Protect Your Teeth:

With all the stress in the world right now, those that have a tendency to grind their teeth are going to be more susceptible to it right now.  The first piece of advice is to dust off that night guard in the drawer by your bed and wear it! If it does not fit or you don’t have one, there are generic one size fit’s all ones you can buy at any major drugstore. These are not ideal or good for long term use but can be great for a short term solution.   As far as daily grinding and bad habits like chewing pen caps goes….just stop it. The last thing you want right now is a broken tooth.

3. Smile With Confidence: 

One of the best ways to have a more confident smile is to whiten your teeth. When discussing teeth whitening options It’s important to understand that there is a difference between CHEMICAL teeth whitening and MECHANICAL teeth whitening. Chemical teeth whitening is using chemicals to remove INTRINSIC stains and mechanical teeth whitening uses abrasives added to toothpaste to remove EXTRINSIC stains. 

Intrinsic discoloration means stain within the actual tooth structure.  It can happen from medication use, childhood illness, tooth trauma or aging and is best treated with CHEMICAL teeth whitening. I would stick to more safe options at this point like whitening strips over the gel.  The at home systems using gel are more likely to cause complications or the need to see a dentist.  Play it safe and keep it simple. 

Extrinsic discoloration is what most of us experience and is caused by  things that stain the teeth like foods with dyes, coffee,  tea, red wine and  smoking.  These kinds of stains are best treated with MECHANICAL teeth whitening. This means brushing after eating any foods that stain teeth and finding a whitening toothpaste that is abrasive enough but not too abrasive that it will cause enamel wear or sensitivity.  Try to find one with an RDA value of 100 or less. 

In Conclusion: Your mouth is where all food and drink passes before it goes into your body.  It is also what you use to breathe the oxygen needed to keep your body alive and functioning. You use it daily to communicate with people, to smile at people, and when you are intimate with others.  Wouldn’t it just make sense to keep it as clean as possible and keep the bacteria load under control? The answer is YES.  Yes, it takes time to properly care for your teeth.  Yes, it costs money to invest in quality products that are designed to keep your mouth healthy.  And YES it is worth it when you can smile with confidence and not hold back. Check out the Klēn difference at

Opinions expressed by US Reporter contributors are their own.