Let’s face it. We can all come down with an illness like a bad cold or the flu at any time of the year. Most of us treat those symptoms but often forget about our oral health. In other words, you need to take care of your teeth when sick. From the cold winter months of December through February, our mouths are especially vulnerable to bacteria and viruses.
We are sharing our best tips for proper oral health care as you get over the flu:
Keep The Body Hydrated
Dental experts agree that your saliva plays many roles but most importantly, it acts as an excellent natural mouth cleanser. When you’re feeling sick, however, dry mouth can quickly develop and can produce cavities.
To avoid dry mouth symptoms, it is recommended that you get plenty of fluids during the flu or cold to maintain hydration. Of course, water is always the best, and coughdrops can also boost saliva flow. Just make sure the coughdrops are sugar-free.
Practice A Toothbrush Routine
When you feel lousy, the last thing you want to do is brush your teeth, but this small step is essential. Rule number one is for every family member: Never share your toothbrush with anyone.
Everyone’s mouth has bacteria, but it’s still normal for that bacteria to transfer to the bristles of your toothbrush and from there, to another person’s mouth.
When you’ve got the flu or a bad cold, continue to brush your teeth with your own toothbrush.
Vomiting can also come with the flu, and if this happens, avoid immediately brushing your teeth. The gastric acid now in your mouth can wear down your teeth enamel. Instead, dental experts recommend waiting about 30 minutes after vomiting to brush your teeth.
In the meantime, swish your mouth with water and a little baking soda to destroy the acid and to take care of your teeth when sick.
Avoid Yellow Teeth Appearance
When you’re not feeling well and sidelined from the flu, for example, your teeth will tell the story. If you notice your teeth looking more yellow, there’s a reason for this.
When you’re on medications and/or decongestants, these can cause the dry mouth issue as mentioned above, and your teeth can appear slightly discolored.
When ill, most people take their cold medicine at night after lying in bed all day. Bacteria continue to build up in the mouth.
Brushing your teeth before bedtime will help avoid yellow teeth and keep your mouth clean as you heal from the flu.
Here at Mountain View Dental, we want you to stay ahead of the game and to keep up a sensible oral health care routine. We all fall prey to illness and granted, it’s not fun when you’re feeling down and out, but these simple steps will help you take care of your teeth when sick.
We offer a friendly and relaxing dental office. Contact us today, and schedule an appointment.