Sunday, September 9, 2018
Cold and Flu Season: 3 Ways to Care for Your Mouth When You’re Sick
Sooner or later we all catch the flu. It’s inevitable. When you have a cold or the flu, taking care of your body is your top priority—and that includes your mouth. Here are three simple ways to care for your dental health when you’re not feeling well:
1. Stay Hydrated to Avoid Dry Mouth
When you’re sick, you need plenty of fluids for many reasons. One is to prevent dry mouth. Not only is it uncomfortable—dry mouth can also put you at greater risk for tooth decay and cavities. The medications you might be taking for a cold or flu—such as antihistamines, decongestants or pain relievers—can also dry out your mouth, so drink plenty of water and suck on sugarless cough drops, throat lozenges or candies to keep that saliva flowing.
2. Choose Sugar-Free Cough Drops
Read the label before you pick up a bag of cough drops at the drug store. Make sure to avoid ingredients like fructose or corn syrup. Many cough drops contain sugar, and it is almost as bad as sucking on candy. Sugar is the bad guy when it comes to cavities. The longer you keep a sugary cough drop in your mouth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria has to feast on that sugar, which produces the acid that can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
3. Practice Good Hygiene
When you’re sick, you know to cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze. Don’t forget to keep up your dental and toothbrush hygiene as well. According to the CDC, the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for 72 hours. Make sure not share your toothbrush. This can get other people sick. Also, replace your toothbrush after you’ve been sick. Especially if it is more than three months old.
These three tips will help you maintain your dental health even if you are sick. Remember to always brush at least twice per day and floss through colds and the flu. A healthy mouth contributes to a healthy you.
Call our office today to make an appointment so you can find out what the best options are for your specific case.