Making your immune system strong, can help prevent COVID-19 from the breakdown one’s immune system.
Of course the first line of defense is to avoid to getting in contact with the virus. You should take precautions to avoid large gatherings, covering and protecting your mouth and nose, hand washing frequently, and avoid touching your hands to your face and mouth. The COVID-19 novel corona-virus is spread through respiratory droplets that can transfer from the host and inhaled through the nose or mouth. Here are few points that can help the secondary line of defense to boost our individual immune systems during these turbulent times:
1- Vitamin C, plus elevate zinc levels in your system
They both boosts your immune system; vitamin C is water soluble so whatever the body needs it will absorb. If you did take too much, no worries, the body dissipates the excess! For those opposed to taking vitamins, eat foods rich with vitamin C like broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, kale, kiwi, orange juice, papaya, red, green or yellow pepper, sweet potato, strawberries, and tomatoes. Higher level of zinc in your system is advisable. 20 to 25 mg per day is a good regimen.
2- Rinse with Betadine solution twice a day, or dilute (Povidone-Iodine) 50 % with water or possibly dilute with hydrogen peroxide solution. Gargle with warm to hot water. Swishing your mouth with an antiseptic such as vinegar or salt is also good.
If you had cosmetic dentistry done with veneers, composite bonding, smile-makeover or dental reconstruction, Povidine-iodine can stain your dental restorations, you need to brush the teeth right after. This swishing helps individuals at high risk (elderly, elderly with compromised immune system, obese, diabetic, etc…) to kill the virus. If allergic to iodine, or Betadine or any other solutions mentioned, obviously do not use.
3- 1% Hydrogen peroxide, rinse twice a day.
According to American Dental Association, it is highly advisable for dentists who do see patients, due to emergency treatment needed, ( during the COVID-19 pandemic) to have patients rinse with warm to hot 1% hydrogen peroxide prior to having the dentist starting any kind of treatment. I recommend patients with full mouth porcelain veneers, composite Bonding, and smile makeovers to prioritize using this solution over the Betadine or Povidone-Iodine.
4- Be aware.
Hand wash with warm to hot water and soap for at least 20 to 30 seconds, use hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol as well, if soap is not available. It is a good practice to get into the habit of reminding yourself every 20 minutes, no matter what to wash hands, and of course trying to avoid touching face, nose, and mouth.
5- Nasal irrigation is important since one of the virus‘ pathway to the body is through the nasal airway.
6- Eat foods high in antioxidants, such as artichokes, raspberries , kale, blueberries, strawberries, as well as leafy green vegetables
7- Vitamin D is needed boosting the immune system and if possible, get some sun. Foods that can provide vitamin D can include fish like salmon or tuna, cheese, egg yolks, and soy milk.
8- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, specially the metallic surfaces, like doorknobs and your phone with diluted Bleach, Clorox with hydrogen peroxide in which kills germs and viruses or with a EPA registered disinfectant. It has been reported that the virus can be viable on these surfaces for few days up to 9 days. This virus can attach to your hair and clothing easily, and can be viable for few days. Wash your clothing in hot water temperatures. Know that the virus can survive on your clothing for few days up to 9 days, Separate the suspicious worn clothes , and change often. upon arrival to your house take a hot shower or bath.
9- Get adequate sleep and exercise regularly. DO NOT Smoke.
10- Follow deep relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathes in, hold, then release. Use your time wisely, focus on things you can control. Shift your focus from doubt and fear to what you can do to help yourself and others.
There is no need to feel panicked or follow false information. Stay updated with the current situation by following your county’s guidelines as well as the CDC. I am confident that this wave of doubt, worry, and fear will all end soon. I look forward to making your teeth and your smile extraordinary.