The flu and cold season generally come in sync with the rainy weather. Getting yourself vaccinated through a flu shot, washing your hands often, and avoiding the sick can help lessen the risk of illnesses. Concerning your oral health, there are also some tips to reduce the impact on your health. It includes brushing and flossing your teeth, and refraining from touching your mouth so as not to compromise your teeth and gums. But what happens when you still catch a cold or flu despite the precautionary measures?
When you have a cold or flu, taking care of your body is your top priority – that includes your mouth. According to Dr. Romo of the American Dental Association, “it is important to take care of your dental health all year round, but especially when you are sick.”
If you have developed a cold or flu, here are five ways to care for your mouth:
1. Practice Good Hygiene
As stated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, the flu virus can live up to 72 hours on surfaces. To prevent the chances of other people from getting the infection, make sure to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. More so, continue with proper oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day to prevent any dental issues from arising. It would help if you also focused on flossing and using your mouthwash more often.
2. Choose Sugar-Free Drops
There are many coughs and colds syrup that are packed with sugar to sweeten the dose. Be extra mindful of the ingredients like fructose or corn syrup when you run to the drug store. Medications that have sugar can cause tooth decay and harm your gums. If you can’t find sugarfree alternatives, make sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth afterward.
3. Swish and Spit After Vomiting
One unfortunate part of the flu is vomiting, which brings danger to your teeth. Vomiting brings a lot of stomach acids into your mouth, so it is better to wait before you brush your teeth. When you brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, you rub all the acids onto the hard shells of your teeth. Instead, rinse with water or mouth wash and brush 30 minutes after.
4. Stay Hydrated
When you are sick, staying hydrated should be on top of your list, as it offers many benefits. One of those includes preventing dry mouth – which puts you at risk for cavities because it is the perfect environment for bacteria to breed. The drugs you may be taking, such as decongestants, pain relievers, and antihistamines, can cause your mouth to dry. So, drink lots of water to stay hydrated and brush your teeth as often as possible.
5. Choose the Right Fluids
When it comes to your mouth and body, the safest thing to drink is water. There may also be chances that you will be tempted to drink warm tea, hot chocolate, or sports drink to feel warm or replace electrolytes. However, try to avoid drinks with sugar because it will only fuel the cavitycausing bacteria.
Most of us tend to focus more on getting rid of the flu instead of keeping our teeth safe when sick. Keep in mind that these tips can help you regain your overall health.
We, at Kidsmile, are passionately dedicated to providing quality dental care for your child. Our goal is to partner with you to help your child establish and achieve excellent oral health.
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