The wearing of a mask is now commonplace, for both adults and children. This new addition to our world, however, comes with changes, not only to our habits, but also to our health.
Here are common issues of concern with explanations as well as solutions:
Does wearing a mask affect my Oxygen?
Oxygen levels are not reduced with mask wearing.
Why do I experience headaches, fatigue, and dizziness when wearing a mask?
Wearing a mask can make you feel anxious and uncomfortable and this makes you breath differently.
What is ‘Hyperventilation’?
While wearing a mask, if you breathe too fast and too deeply, while trying to catch your breath, you decrease your CO2 making you feel dizzy and tired.
What is ‘Hypoventilation’?
While wearing a mask, if you breathe too slowly, you increase your C02 and decrease your O2. This creates ‘air hunger’ making you gasp and making you feel sleepy.
What can I do to improve my breathing while wearing a mask?
Learn to ‘Box Breathe”. This is a form of Yoga breathing designed to improve the O2 and CO2 gas exchange during breathing. Box Breathing calms your breathing and reduces all of the negative issues while wearing a mask.
My chest feels tired and stressed while wearing a mask, why is this?
Proper breathing involves the belly, not the chest. Place your hand on your belly and breath in and out. You will feel your belly go in and out as well. This is the correct method of breathing.
Why does my mouth feel dry when wearing a mask?
We are supposed to breathe in and out through our nose, which moistens the air. Mask wearers often breathe through their mouth so their mouth gets dry.
What is wrong with mouth breathing while wearing a mask?
The dry mouth creates an acidic environment in the mouth resulting in bad breath, tooth decay, and red puffy gums. This is called Mask Mouth.
How can I prevent Mask Mouth?
Train yourself to breathe in and out through your nose by using the Box Breathing method.
What else can I do to prevent Mask Mouth?
Drink plenty of water, and avoid acidic drinks like soda, iced tea, and sports drinks.
Should I increase my tooth brushing after wearing a mask?
Brushing 2x’s a day is perfect. Try to use a Zinc containing toothpaste like Colgate Total, since zinc has anti-viral properties. In addition don’t forget to brush your tongue and rinse with an anti-bacterial rinse.
Dr .Brunsden has researched this information to assist you in understanding what you can do to create a healthier environment for you and your family. Please work together as a family to learn the proper methods of breathing while wearing a mask, and review the need to eliminate sugars and acids from your diet. Also, be sure to visit your dentist every six months, even during this pandemic, as oral health is vital to overall health.
**Mouth breathing is a very destructive habit for children and should always be discouraged.**