When the cold or flu hits, the last thing you want to think about is proper dental hygiene. But today with warnings everywhere about being careful when you feel sick, it’s important to do all you can to stay healthy. This includes keeping your mouth healthy even when you’re down and out. Here are our tips for dental hygiene when you’re sick.
You certainly aren’t doing your teeth any favors by sitting on the couch sick for days and not brushing your teeth. Bacteria growth in your mouth gets worse the longer you avoid brushing, and this could contribute to cavity formation. Even just the simple use of mouthwash and toothpaste may make you less contagious to others in your home, and it could even reduce the strain on your immune system. So do your best to stay on your morning and night oral health routine, even if you’re sleep routine is thrown off.
Cough drops are a great tool in the battle against a sore throat, but many companies pack them with sugar to make them taste better. While we all prefer better tasting cough drops when we battle a cold, this can be harmful for your teeth. It becomes worse when you’re eating cough drops all day long. Your teeth are constantly exposed to sugar, and they don’t get a break to wash it away and recover. The better option is to shop for sugar-free cough drops. You can use them without guilt, and instead concentrate on beating the cold.
Some patients become worried about the hygiene of their toothbrush when they get sick. Should you throw out a toothbrush once you realize you’re battling a cold or a virus? The answer is no. You don’t need to worry about disposing of your toothbrush unless you have a compromised immune system. For all other patients, your body will fight off the cold. Using your toothbrush again after you get sick will not impact this. However, you should never share a toothbrush with anyone else, including your partner. This could lead to someone else getting sick. It is still important to change your toothbrush every three months so your teeth get cleaned properly.
We all know hydration plays an important part in combating colds and the flu. But hydration is just as important for your regular oral health. Saliva is the natural defense your teeth uses to fight bacteria. When you have dry mouth, your body cannot produce as much saliva. This makes your teeth more vulnerable, and the longer you are dehydrated, the more your teeth suffer. Since being sick can make you dehydrated, it’s wise to pay special attention to your fluid intake. Not only will it speed your recovery, it will keep your teeth in good shape as you get better.
Remember these tips for dental hygiene when you’re sick are just important for your children as they are for you. Grace & Leedy is pleased to provide quality dental care for your whole family. However, at this time, we please ask that you stay home if you are sick. Make sure to drink plenty fluids and keep up with your oral health routines until you feel better. When you’re ready for world-class dental care, we are open and using new procedures to ensure each patient’s visit is safe. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.