Cold and flu season can be brutal and getting sick is never fun. Not only do you feel miserable, you’ll probably stress yourself out thinking about all the things you have to do but can’t find the energy for. With your mind racing, the last thing you’ll want to think about is how your dental health is holding up. However, you need to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions to protect your teeth, especially when you’re sick. Your teeth become even more vulnerable if you catch a cold or the flu, so make sure you’re prepared to protect your mouth with some of these great tips.
One thing that accompanies almost every cold or flu is a stuffy nose. It becomes a relentless effort to try and breath out of a stuffy nose, which is why most people who are sick give up and just breathe out of their mouths. Unfortunately, this leads to dry mouth and dry mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. Saliva normally works to fend off bacteria, but with dry mouth, your teeth are left vulnerable.
To make matters worse some of those much-needed medications that we take when we have a cold or flu actually contribute to or worsen dry mouth. To make sure you’re protecting your teeth this cold and flu season, drink plenty water to stay hydrated. Try making a nice herbal tea or add immunity boosting lemon and orange slices to your daily water.
Opt for Water
It’s no surprise that hydration helps combat dry mouth, but the type of hydration you choose matters. Water is your mouth’s best friend. Unlike sports drinks, juices, or lattes, water is pure and helps protect your teeth. When you choose hydration that is loaded with unnecessary sugar, your teeth are actually more susceptible to damage. If you absolutely can’t give up your favorite beverages try rinsing your mouth with water after drinking them to wash away any sugar and acid left on your teeth.
Ditch the Sugar
Sugar is one of oral hygiene’s greatest enemies. However, for some reason, most cough drops, syrups, and cold medications are filled with it. Take the time to read the labels before you buy and make a conscious effort to ditch the sugar. This way, you’ll reap the benefits of your cough drop without harming your teeth.
Rinse Your Mouth
Unfortunately, the stomach flu tends to be accompanied by vomiting. Since vomit contains high levels of acid, your teeth can degrade and be damaged if exposed to too much vomit. To help combat the effects of stomach acid on your enamel, avoid brushing your teeth immediately and instead, rinse your mouth with some water.
Don’t Neglect Your Oral Hygiene
It goes without saying that one of the best ways to protect your teeth this cold and flu season is to keep up with your oral hygiene. However, sickness and fatigue can make daily habits a bigger hassle than they normally are. To make sure your taking proper care of yourself, don’t neglect your oral hygiene. Brush and floss regularly in the morning and at night. When all is said and done, completing this small act of self-care may even help you feel a little better!
While we hope that you stay healthy and safe during this year’s cold and flu season, protecting your teeth is always important! If you aren’t feeling so hot, we hope that you make a quick recovery and feel better soon. Have a safe and happy holiday from all of us at Artistic Dental.