Under the Weather? Caring for Yourself & Your Oral Health

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During cold and flu season, there are ways to simultaneously take care of your oral health during recovery efforts:

  • Practice Good Hygiene
    • Never share your toothbrush with others, especially when you’re sick, as the flu virus can live on moist surfaces for up to 72 hours.
    • Though unnecessary immediately after your illness, it is optimal to replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
  • Sugar-Free Cough Drops
    • Because cough drops often stay in your mouth until completely dissolved, those with sugar cause greater vulnerability to cavities. Suck on sugar free alternatives instead! 
  • Swish and Spit After Vomiting
    • Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting, as your teeth have just become coated in stomach acids. Brushing would further rub these acids all over the surfaces.
    • Rather, wash these acids away by swishing with water, mouth wash, or a mix of water and baking soda. Afterwards, spit, then finish with a brush closer to 30 minutes later.
  • Stay Hydrated
    • Many medications you may be on, such as, pain relievers, decongestants, and antihistamines, tend to cause dry mouth.
    • Because dry mouth places one at a heightened risk of cavities, drink plenty of water and suck on cough drops or lozenges to increase saliva flow.
  • Drink the Right Fluids
    • Though sports drinks contain electrolytes, they also contain a high sugar content. Thus, drink them in moderation or find a sugar free version.
    • To soothe a sore throat, hot tea is comforting. However, it is best to avoid adding sugar and lemon.
    • Overall, the best fluid to drink when sick is water.

With these suggestions, not only will you be feeling better in no time, but you will have also maintained your dental health!! 

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