Every year, does your health go down the drain during cold and flu season? As terrible as you feel while you’re sick, taking proper care of the rest of your body can help you bounce back from your illness quicker. Unfortunately, that means you’ll need to fight through your loss of energy and keep up with your daily hygiene routines like brushing and flossing your teeth. With these four cold and flu season oral tips, you’ll be able to feel healthier while you’re under the weather.
Stick To Your Hygiene Routine
Even if sticking to your morning and nightly dental hygiene routine means getting out of bed for five minutes, it’s important. If you let your oral health go and harmful bacteria accumulate on your teeth and gums while you’re sick, you could have bigger problems to deal with later on. Maintaining good hygiene also means covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, so you don’t spread the flu virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the virus can live on a moist surface for 72 hours. After you recover, although the flu virus most likely won’t be active on your toothbrush, it’s better to be safe than sorry and switch it out for a new one.
Choose Cold and Flu Remedies That Don’t Have Sugar
You may be surprised to know that many brands of cough drops and cold and flu medicines contain sugar. Although they may taste a bit better, they can also cause cavities, which will be the last problem you want to deal with after getting over your sickness. Cough drops are especially bad for your oral health while you’re under the weather because they stick around for awhile and expose your teeth to sugar for longer periods of time, drastically increasing the chances of cavity development.
Many people turn to sports drinks to stay hydrated while they’re sick. However, these beverages are packed full of sugar and can increase your risk of oral health problems. Instead, keep a bottle of water with you at all times. You can also drink warm water with honey and lemon to soothe your throat, because citrus in small amounts isn’t bad for your teeth, just when it’s excessively consumed.
Avoid Dry Mouth
When you’re sick, it’s important to drink fluids because you can easily become dehydrated. Your saliva is a key player in neutralizing acid in your mouth produced by harmful oral bacteria. That’s why it’s so important to prevent your mouth from becoming dry. When enamel-eroding acid and harmful bacteria are left to accumulate in your mouth, it can cause problems like gum disease and decay.
After you get over your illness, be sure to schedule a checkup and cleaning with your dentist to get any developing issues treated so you don’t have to worry about them down the road. Although the last thing on your mind while your sick is your oral health, when you keep your mouth healthy, you’ll be able to bounce back from cold and flu season more quickly.
About the Author
Dr. Kelly Blair is passionate about supplying her patients with the knowledge and high-quality dental treatments they need to keep their teeth and gums healthy. She believes that continuing education plays an important role in her ability to provide her patients with the latest dental techniques and procedures, which is why she regularly attends advanced training and programs. She has been certified in placing and restoring dental implants, to provide oral and IV sedation, and in Six Month Smiles and Invisalign orthodontic treatment. For questions or to schedule a routine checkup and cleaning, visit her website or call 817-737-5155.