Journal of Indian Association of Public Health Dentistry

: 2021  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 325-

Revisiting the importance of home oral hygiene during this pandemic season

Nirupa Elisetti 
 Nirupa's Dental Zone, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Correspondence Address:
Nirupa Elisetti
Nirupa's Dental Zone, Hyderabad - 500 019, Telangana

How to cite this article:
Elisetti N. Revisiting the importance of home oral hygiene during this pandemic season.J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent 2021;19:325-325

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Elisetti N. Revisiting the importance of home oral hygiene during this pandemic season. J Indian Assoc Public Health Dent [serial online] 2021 [cited 2023 Feb 5 ];19:325-325
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Dear Editor,

In congruence with the article by Addy[1] over the significance of tooth brushing with toothpaste during pandemic season is very important and essential. Maintenance of oral hygiene is highly recommended and encouraged owing to the ongoing global crisis of COVID-19. The present-day scenario of the upsurge in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases may be due to seasonal variation or lifting of lockdown emanated the second wave of infection in many parts of the world. The fact that the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is advocated as a droplet infection when a person coughs or sneezes could not be denied due to the presence of angiotensin-converting enzyme receptor-2, the primary receptor for SARS-CoV-2, in salivary glands as numerous as lungs.[2] Thus, the oral cavity also harbors coronavirus.

Precautionary measures to contain the virus's spread as recommended by the WHO and CDC include the usage of face masks, maintaining social distance, and frequent hand hygiene. Washing of hands with any chemical scientifically clears the virus. The most common detergent in toothpaste is “sodium lauryl sulfate” as present in soaps, which plays a significant role along with “triclosan,” an antiseptic that is also effective against viruses. The mechanical action of a toothbrush and the detergent action of toothpaste helps in deactivation and clearing of the virus from the oral cavity. Thus, the recommendation of toothbrushing for 2–4 min twice a day is as helpful as handwashing in the elimination of viruses. Gargling of mouth with warm water and salt has been encouraged right from the beginning of the pandemic, which also adds on to clearing of virus. On a similar note, the usage of mouthwashes could help in eliminating the virus to a certain extent, as chlorhexidine, the gold standard mouthwash used worldwide, has a little antiviral effect, though is recommended as a preprocedural mouth rinse to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in dental settings. Betadine (povidone-iodine) and Listerine mouthwashes help effectively with antiviral action.[3]

With the increasing numbers of COVID-19 during the first, second waves of infection around the globe and now an inception of third wave is also being thought of, we as dental professionals should hold accountable for creating awareness among the general public to practice home hygiene, as stepping up to a clinical setting with trivial problems could rather increase the chance of infection. Regular and frequent toothbrushing with toothpaste along with mouth rinsing should be reinforced, especially among vulnerable populations. As suggested by Prof. Addy, this should be a collective effort from dentists, media, government, and its advisors to break the chain of the infection amid the second-wave threat.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1Addy M. Toothbrushing against coronavirus. Br Dent J 2020;228:487.
2Meng L, Hua F, Bian Z. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): Emerging and future challenges for dental and oral medicine. J Dent Res 2020;99:481-7.
3Moosavi MS, Aminishakib P, Ansari M. Antiviral mouthwashes: Possible benefit for COVID-19 with evidence-based approach. J Oral Microbiol 2020;12:1794363.